What is the pulse report?
In 2017, Global Fashion Agenda and BCG embarked on a partnership, along with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (“SAC”), to deliver the Pulse Report, a qualitative and quantitative report of the sustainability performance of the global fashion Industry.
The publication provided a comprehensive data-based report in the form of an annual assessment of the industry’s environmental and social performance. Drawing on the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index, the annual report revealed the industry’s Pulse Score, a performance measure of the sector by type of company, size, region and sustainability impacts.
The organisations are proud to have co-created such a valuable and agenda-setting publication that has brought about much needed action to increase the sustainability performance of the fashion industry. The time is right to seek out new constellations and initiatives that fit the new reality our industry faces, as we can continue to push the sustainability agenda forward.
The Pulse Report was co-developed with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm and one of the world’s leading advisor on business strategy, and Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), the coalition that has developed the Higg Index, a suite of tools that standardises value chain sustainability measurement for all industry participants.
According to the Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2018 report, the industry’s performance remains weak. The Pulse Score is 38 out of 100. In the past year, it improved by six points. The Pulse Survey, which covers the perspectives of decision-makers from all industry segments, confirms that the sustainability agenda became increasingly prominent in shaping the corporate agenda. Of the executives polled, 52% reported that sustainability targets provided guidance for almost every strategic decision they made—an increase of 18 percentage points from last year. While encouraging, these results also indicate the need for still more movement toward increasingly responsible practices.
The Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2017 Report explores alternative business models for how clothes could be made, distributed and consumed based on a proposed ‘landscape for change’ including 40 possible ways to increase industry sustainability performance. We looked at materials including cotton and polyester and chose to highlight the intrinsic dilemmas that need to be considered for every material choice. The report aims to inform its readers about both the opportunities and the ramifications of substituting conventional cotton. As stated in the report “the proposed landscape is a first attempt to sketch out the spectrum of options available. It is meant to invite further input and rich discussions during the coming year.” Similar to this, the Pulse report also quantified a number of initiatives to help demonstrate the possible value to be captured if the industry would start to act immediately on selected topics. The examples used under each change lever served an illustrative purpose and were not straightforward recommendations as such.