GCU's Fair Fashion Center joins Accessories Council Summit

21 November 2016

Cara Smyth

Cara Smyth

Cara Smyth, Vice President of GCU New York’s Fair Fashion Centre, took part in a panel on sustainability held by the Accessories Council during its second annual Summit last week.

The Accessories Council is a not-for-profit, international trade organisation established to stimulate consumer awareness and demand for fashion accessory products.

Among the day’s discussions was a panel on the topic of sustainability, featuring Marie Claire Editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider and Creative Director Nina García in conversation Cara Smyth.

Cara revealed that one in six people on the planet work in fashion, ranging from sheep farmers who provide wool, to retail sales associates. The industry’s carbon footprint accounts for 10 per cent of annual global emissions.

“We can be a huge force for good, but probably only if we make it profitable and chic,” she said.

GCU established the Fair Fashion Center striving to create an industry that is a respectful and regenerative ecosystem that supports people, planet and profits.

One such project  has involved raising awareness about excessive packaging of dress shirts. “Every man’s dress shirt comes with an average of 14 to 18 pieces of packaging that are pooled from five different countries,” said Cara. “If you reduce four or five of those, you can have a big impact — maybe up to eight cents a shirt.” The Center estimates that it has had a hand in reforming packaging for approximately 50 million shirts since starting the project.