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Published on Monday, 08 May 2017

Fashion’s environmental pulse remains weak

Written by John Mowbray

COPENHAGEN – A new report issued today by The Global Fashion Agenda, in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, gives the fashion industry a feeble score of just ‘32 out of 100’ when it comes to environmental and social issues associated with the global fashion sector – despite many on-going initiatives in this area. This ‘Pulse Score’ is based on criteria that includes areas of impact such as water, energy, chemicals, waste, labour practices, health and safety, ethical practices and community and external engagement throughout the entire value chain.

The report draws on a survey of more than 90 senior managers responsible for sustainability issues within the industry – as well as detailed data from the SACs Higg Index – and finds that by improving the environmental and social performance of the sector could provide a €160 billion boost to the global economy by 2030 when sales of clothing are projected to rise by 62 per cent to 102 million tons.

It’s also projected that by 2030, fashion brands will see a decline in EBIT margins of more than 3 percentage points if they continue ‘business-as-usual’.

The report’s authors strongly advocate the consolidation and realignment of current industry efforts and resources to bring about systemic change in the face of potentially ‘excessive regulatory intervention’ and says the mass of small to midsize firms which represent around 50 per cent of the fashion industry is still a ‘blind spot in the industry,’ which has so far ‘done little to improve their impact’.

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