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‘Bold leadership’ needed to make fashion sustainable

Fashion firms, industry associations and regulators must collaborate and innovate on an “unprecedented scale” to drive significant improvements in the supply chain, the authors of a new report have argued.

Global Fashion Agenda, organiser of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, has released its first Pulse of the Fashion Industry report, which combines existing data with a survey of more than 90 senior managers responsible for sustainability issues to assess the global fashion industry’s environmental and social impact.

Produced in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group, the report gives the industry a “pulse score” of just 32 out of 100.

It found that the big players, as well as some mid-sized, family owned companies, are showing progress on sustainability. But more than half of the market, mainly small to medium-sized players, have shown “little effort” so far. 

However, the report’s authors argue that individual fashion brands cannot drive major changes on a large scale.

”Up to now, selected brands, retailers, and multi-stakeholder initiatives have shown impressive commitment and have already achieved great progress,” they write.  ”Best practices are available across all segments of the industry, and substantial innovations are emerging. Applying and implementing these will do much to improve the industry’s impact. But these will not be enough.”

They go on to call for “well-orchestrated, system-wide actions” from a broad coalition of stakeholders, including fashion businesses, organisations that can drive cross-industry collaboration, and regulators.

“This will require bold leadership,” the authors of the report conclude.

Read the full report here



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