Global Fashion Agenda says 75% fashion companies improved environmental ops in 2017

According to the Global Fashion Agenda, some 75 per cent of fashion companies interviewed in a recent study managed to improve their environmental and social performance over the last year, and the business case has proven to be nothing but positive.

Global Fashion Agenda

The industry's various segments, however, are moving at highly different speeds, and nearly all progress came from companies in the mid-price segment.

The GFA, in partnership with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), has released the 2018 edition of the Pulse of the Fashion Industry report, an annual in-depth assessment of the fashion industry's environmental and social performance.

Drawing on the Sustainable Apparel Coalition's Higg Index, a survey of 90 senior managers and over 50 interviews, the Pulse of the Fashion Industry report each year reveals the industry's current Pulse score, a performance measure of the sector by type of company, size, region and stage in the value chain.

The Pulse Score combines the Higg Index, with input from industry executives to extrapolate its findings to the entire industry. Fashion’s overall score is 32 out of 100, indicating the large opportunity for improvement, according to the report.

To put fashion on a path to long-term prosperity financially, socially and environmentally, the report has stressed the urgency of collective effort to go beyond what is available and possible today. To achieve lasting impact at scale, the industry needs systemic change through leadership, innovation and collaboration.

A number of promising, disruptive innovations are emerging to move the industry - but success will depend on a strong ecosystem rooted in the efforts of regulators, consumers, nongovernmental organisations, and other stakeholders, the report added.

"I'm excited that sustainability finally has been taken out of the lab and into the boardroom. To find out that the topic influences decision-making at a strategic level leaves me with optimism," Morten Lehmann, chief sustainability officer at GFA, said.
"Sustainability can actually increase profitability for fashion companies," said Sebastian Boger, a partner at BCG.

This year's report aims to give guidance to companies looking to start or find further advances toward more responsible ways of doing business.

For the first time, the report included a Pulse Curve, enabling companies to measure their performance against other industry players, and a roadmap to scale, an inspiring guide for the industry built on proven best practices with industry players that offers concrete actions for businesses to immediately embark on their sustainability journey.

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