Calls to rewrite the terms of buying contracts, a key hurdle to a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry according to advocates, are building as the lens on fashion’s performance intensifies, particularly amid new COP26 commitments.

“Purchasing practices have moved from being a niche issue to the central issue of the industry. This year in particular, if you’re not working on purchasing practices, you’re kind of missing the boat because it is the hidden hurdle to unlocking the rest of it,” says Olivia Windham Stewart, business and human rights specialist who worked on the American Bar Association Business Law Section Working Group’s Principled Purchasing Project, which published a widely regarded Buyer Code earlier this year, following the widespread cancellation of orders during the pandemic.