Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Amsterdam School of International Business

AMSIB Representatives go to the United Nations

6 Jul 2018 00:00 | Amsterdam School of International Business

Professor Lori DiVito of the Amsterdam School of International Business (AMSIB) and the project manager Travis Rice go to the United Nations to showcase their sustainability project, the Alliance for Responsible Denim (ARD). The forum, titled "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies" is about sustainable development and will take place from 9 July to 18 July 2018 in New York.

Lori and Travis are the spokespeople for the Alliance for Responsible Denim (ARD), and they are going to the UN to showcase the 2-year long project at the High-level Political Forum (HLPF). The HLPF is an initiative of the United Nations and its main focus is to provide a follow-up and review of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. See more details here.

What is ARD and what is its mission?

The Alliance for Responsible Denim was initiated in 2016 and is scheduled to end in September 2018. The funding was approved by SIA RAAK, the Dutch National Coordinating Body for Practice-Based Research.

The project is a cooperation with the Centre of Applied Research on Economics and Management (CAREM) and is comprised of 52 members, including the organizing partners Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Made-by, & Circle Economy.

The mission of ARD is to create an industry-wide collaboration to make the denim industry cleaner and smarter by driving sustainable and responsible ways to manufacture denim.

With over 2 billion jeans manufactured every year, and on average requiring 7,000 litres of water per jean, coming up with new ways of producing denim is highly desirable in order to achieve a cleaner environment for generations to come.

The fast fashion industry is rapidly changing our lifestyle and attitude towards how we consume clothing. Our current behaviour is an unsustainable trend that brings with it many consequences for the environment.

The clothing industry is leaving irreversible fingerprints in the environment and it is time to change, our society is urgently in need of more sustainable ways for manufacturing clothes, and in creating more conscious consumers.

Sustainability, however, should not only be achieved in the way denim is produced, but also in creating sustainable relationships throughout the denim industry by collaborating with the entire supply chain. All interested parties should come together to find possible solutions to attain sustainability within the clothing industry.

There must be an integration of the entire supply chain, and the Alliance for Responsible Denim is aiming at doing just that by aligning forces with diverse stakeholders, all with their own areas of expertise.

Showcasing at the High-Level Political Forum at the United Nations, ARD hopes to bring the platform to a wider audience. By highlighting the achievements of its members and giving insights into the inner workings of a multi-stakeholder collaboration, Lori and Travis hope to align with other organizations who can aid in ARD’s mission.

For real change to happen at the speed at which it needs to happen, policymakers need to be made aware of the urgency, and the United Nation provides just the right audience.

These are certainly positive steps towards achieving a sustainable and integrated denim industry and AMSIB is proud to be involved in this innovative project. We wish all the best to our representatives, Lori and Travis.


High Level Political Forum. (n.d). Retrieved from: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf

Alliance for Responsible Denim. (n.d). Retrieved from: https://www.denimalliance.org/

Sharma, G. (2017). Greening blue jeans: Insights from a new competitor collaboration. Retrieved from: https://nbs.net/p/greening-blue-jeans-insights-from-a-new-competitor-col-583bfbb2-1dd9-4c4b-8310-2bf77ea283d9