SLYCAN Trust Initiates Second Phase of Multi-Actor Partnerships for Climate and Disaster Risk Management in the Fashion Sector

October 7, 2023

With a growing sense of urgency surrounding climate action, the fashion sector is now committed to becoming more ethical, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Bridging the gap between diverse stakeholders, SLYCAN Trust is spearheading a multi-actor partnership to promote climate and disaster risk management and financing within Sri Lanka's fashion industry.

The partnership is focused on addressing climate risks through inclusive and participatory processes, extending to policy development at local, national, and international levels. By linking these processes to tangible actions and evidence generation, SLYCAN Trust aims to enhance the understanding of existing mechanisms, foster synergies, and promote exchange between stakeholders, ultimately improving access to climate and disaster risk financing opportunities. Key stakeholders from the fashion and garment industry recently convened on September 21st, 2023, at the Mövenpick Hotel in Colombo to kickstart this crucial initiative.

SLYCAN Trust's Global Executive Director, Attorney-at-Law, Vositha Wijenayake, emphasized the pivotal role of the fashion sector in addressing climate change. “The fashion industry, both at the national and global levels, has the potential to lead the way in addressing climate change. From providing livelihoods for millions to its impact on the planet's resources, the fashion sector's shift towards ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly practices through collective processes can lay the foundation for long-term resilience, especially for those most vulnerable to climate change.”

Dennis Mombauer, Director of Research and Knowledge Management at SLYCAN Trust, elaborated on the importance of sustainable business models and climate and disaster risk management. “Expanding our multi-actor partnership into the fashion sector fills identified gaps and meets the needs of entrepreneurs while capitalizing on opportunities for sustainability and resilience. By gathering valuable input from today's participants, we aim to scale up these aspects in alignment with stakeholder priorities, bridging local, national, and global levels, particularly regarding climate and disaster risk management and financing.”

Mombauer continued, “the partnership will focus on capacity building, connecting members to technical expertise, and offering a platform for information, evidence, and knowledge sharing. We will assess needs and vulnerabilities and co-create innovative concepts for concrete collaborations, proposals, and projects.”

The workshop's short and medium-term goal setting for climate and disaster risk management activities enabled participants to collaborate with various stakeholders within the fashion industry, exploring innovative ways to enhance business resilience. Identified needs included recognizing climate-induced risks to the industry and its workforce, introducing risk transfer processes, and identifying key enablers, such as government and private finance and insurance institutions. Participants from upcycled fashion businesses underscored the importance of public and private institutional partnerships for knowledge sharing, research scaling, and technology transfer. These collaborations are pivotal in building overall resilience and prosperity within the sector.

Attendees also stressed the need for climate adaptability and capacity building at all levels of engagement, alongside entrepreneurship skills development to better adapt to the challenges posed by climate change. In addition to fashion and garment sector representatives, the event saw active participation from the finance, banking, and insurance sectors. All parties contributed to discussions, offering insights into potential solutions and approaches aimed at building resilience and enhancing climate and disaster risk financing for the fashion and garment industry.

Participants engaged in dialogues surrounding collective engagement approaches, inclusive partnership models, risk management enhancements, capacity-building for entrepreneurship, and collaborations geared toward long-term resilience in climate and disaster risk management.

SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank dedicated to climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity conservation, animal welfare, and social justice, including gender and youth empowerment. Their work spans national, regional, and global levels, encompassing policy analysis, evidence-based research, and on-the-ground implementation across Asia and Africa.

EthicalX: Climate and Innovation Hub is an initiative by SLYCAN Trust, supporting ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly entrepreneurship. Through capacity-building activities, technical support, expertise provision, and seed funding, EthicalX prioritizes vulnerable communities, women, and youth. Their mission revolves around building long-term climate resilience, sustainable development, and economic empowerment while promoting entrepreneurship and supporting vulnerable communities, women, and youth.

For further information on SLYCAN Trust and its initiatives, please contact [email protected].

Note: This press release has been published on Daily Mirror and is available here.

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SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank. It has been a registered legal entity in the form of a trust since 2016, and a guarantee limited company since 2019. The entities focus on the thematic areas of climate change, adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, environmental conservation and restoration, social justice, and animal welfare. SLYCAN Trust’s activities include legal and policy research, education and awareness creation, capacity building and training, and implementation of ground level action. SLYCAN Trust aims to facilitate and contribute to multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive and participatory actions for a sustainable and resilient future for all.