Fashion CEO Agenda 2021  Full Report

Introduction

The past year challenged global structures, especially regarding necessary rapid environmental progress and the lack of secure social protection schemes: COVID-19 hit the industry unprecedently, demanding real-time actions and long-term sight. Industry players had to shift focus on job re-creation and the fair distribution of risks and profits along the value chain. In addition, long-standing systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement called for racial equity and dignity for marginalised and black communities.

If we fail to take coordinated action on the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, we can expect to see increasingly common crises such as heatwaves or rising sea levels damage complex ecosystems that are vital to our future.1 These systemic issues are apparent in the reality of climate change, exemplifying an intersectional environmental crisis that is set to produce socioeconomic impacts over the coming years, foremost affecting marginalised communities and people of colour. Fashion leaders are urged to focus their efforts on diversity, equity and inclusivity along the value chain to positively contribute to a just society and communities globally…

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Federica Marchionni CEO, Global Fashion Agenda
"The Fashion CEO Agenda is designed to inform and guide fashion industry leaders to make the right decisions to enable people and the environment to prosper. Though implementing changes may seem like an uphill battle, we will face grave consequences if we do not act. Leaders have the power and the knowledge to take bold steps now that will determine our future and the lives of future generations."

Pre-feasibility Analysis of Post Industrial Textile Fiber-2-Fiber Recycling in Bangladesh

This report is authored by Reverse Resources, supported by Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) as part of the Circular Fashion Partnership. The report outlines the findings of the pre-feasibility analysis of post industrial textile fiber-2-fiber recycling in Bangladesh.

The Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2018 – Full Report  

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.

 

The fashion industry has a clear opportunity to act differently, pursu- ing profit and growth while also creating new value for society and there- fore for the world economy. It comes with an urgent need to place environ- mental, social, and ethical improvements on management’s agenda.

 

In recent decades, the fashion industry has been an engine for global development. One of the world’s largest consumer industries,1 generating €1.5 trillion in annual apparel and footwear revenues in 2016,2 it employs around 60 million people along its value chain.

 

To continue the growth trajectory, the fashion industry needs to ad- dress its environmental and social footprint. The earth’s natural resourc- es are under pressure, and the fashion industry, although not the most obvious contributor, is a considerable one. Social conditions—also in the fashion industry—are far from those set forth in the United Nations’ goals for sustainable development. With current trajectories of production and consumption, these pressures will intensify by 2030 to the point of threat- ening industry growth itself.

 

With resources becoming even scarcer, the industry will face rising costs from labor to materials and energy. Based on conservative projec- tions, fashion brands’ profitability levels are at risk in the range of at least 3 percentage points if they don’t act determinedly, and soon.

The facts show a clear need for acting differently. The good news is that by changing practices, the industry can both stop the negative impact and generate a high amount of value for society, while also protecting profitability. We estimate that the world economy would gain about €160 billion annually if the fashion industry would successfully address those environmental and social issues.

 

As of today, the sustainability ‘pulse’ of the industry is weak. The new- ly developed global Pulse Score, a health measure for the sector (see page 28 for more details), is only 32 out of 100. The industry is not yet where it could and should be. The spread of performance is also quite large. The best performers on sustainability are the very big players as well as some mid-sized, family owned companies, while over half of the market, mainly small to medium-sized players, has shown little effort so far. The rest of the industry is somewhere in between. This is confirmed by the Pulse Survey (further information on pages 35/36), where two-thirds of polled fashion executives have not made environmental and social factors guiding principles for their companies’ strategy.

 

Fashion brands with targeted initiatives will be best placed to improve their environmental and social footprint and counteract the rising costs of apparel production. They will pull ahead of their competitors with innovative ways of doing business and efficient production techniques that minimise the use of water, energy, and land, as well as hazardous chemicals. By realising better working conditions and improving workers’ safety, they will minimise their operational and reputational risks and create significant value for themselves and the world economy. These initiatives will improve the overall industry Pulse, raising the average and creating inspiring best practices for the low performers to learn from.

 

However, even if the entire industry caught up to the best practice front-runners, it would not be enough. Under optimistic and ambitious assumptions, only less than half of the €160 billion could be captured.4 The industry needs coordinated action beyond today’s solutions. This report explains the size of the challenge and the need for innovation, collaboration and supporting regulatory action to close the gap.

Donate to continue

Purchase the report to continue reading. Global Fashion Agenda is a non-profit organisation and your contribution will help Global Fashion Agenda continue its mission to accelerate impact in the fashion industry.

The Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2018 – Full Report  

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.

 

The fashion industry has a major opportunity to secure a prosperous future. The industry is facing a rapidly growing demand worldwide, and at the same time many companies are stepping up their work toward more environmentally and socially responsible practices. But this is not enough. To put fashion on a path to long-term prosperity financially, socially, and environmentally, much more must be done.

The Pulse of the fashion industry is still weak. The global Pulse Score, a health measure for the Fashion Industry, is 38 out of 100. In the past year, the Pulse Score improved by six points, from 32 to 38. The Pulse Survey, covering the perspectives of decision makers from all industry segments, confirms that sustainability is rising on the corporate agenda. Of the executives polled, 52% reported that sustainability targets acted as a guiding principle for nearly every strategic decision they made—an increase of 18 percentage points from last year. While encouraging, these results also speak to the need for still more movement toward increasingly responsible practices.

This year’s progress came almost entirely from small and medium companies in the mid-price segment. Their average Pulse Score increased by 10 points. Given this segment accounts for half of the industry by revenue, progress here is particularly encouraging. However, other industry segments showed less progress in addressing their environmental and social footprints. The low-performing smaller companies in the entry-price segment remained significantly behind, making little to no progress since last year. The giant companies and luxury players still lead the way but finding solutions for the unresolved problems is becoming tougher and impact and returns are receding.

Donate to continue

Purchase the report to continue reading. Global Fashion Agenda is a non-profit organisation and your contribution will help Global Fashion Agenda continue its mission to accelerate impact in the fashion industry.

The Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2019 – Full Report  

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.

 

The 2019 Pulse Score, the final pulse taken, shows that the fashion industry has improved its social and environmental performance since 2018 —and at a slower rate than the previous year. Despite this improvement, the fashion industry remains far from sustainable.

Furthermore, the findings demonstrate that fashion companies are not implementing sustainable solutions fast enough to counterbalance increasing negative environmental and social impacts of the rapidly growing fashion industry. If the Pulse Score stays on its current trajectory, the gap between industry output and the Pulse Score will only widen.

Jonas Eder-Hansen Chief Development & Policy Officer
"Today, only 20% of textiles are collected globally. To achieve a circular fashion system it is essential that we capture the valuable resources currently being lost. Setting up a garment collection scheme is a pragmatic step in the right direction."

Donate to continue

Purchase the report to continue reading. Global Fashion Agenda is a non-profit organisation and your contribution will help Global Fashion Agenda continue its mission to accelerate impact in the fashion industry.

SCALING CIRCULARITY IN GARMENT MANUFACTURING COUNTRIES, SUCH AS BANGLADESH

This policy brief is the result of learnings from the first iteration of the Circular Fashion Partnership (CFP) project that took place in Bangladesh from October 2020 to December 2021. It presents the opportunity and importance of valorising post industrial textile waste and scaling of domestic recycling in manufacturing countries like Bangladesh and how political barriers must be addressed to create a supportive environment for investment and an effective circular infrastructure. It is intended as an informative piece, sharing recommendations for policy makers and regulators in Bangladesh and at supranational level, in particular for EU policymakers working on circular textile strategies and policies, and for industry stakeholders such as fashion brands, manufacturers and recyclers working on the same goal.

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Data & Impact Partner

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Data & Impact Partners

Opening Address

At GFA, we are all for making it happen and for shaping the agendas of all stakeholders. In fact, the aspiration to shape the course of change in the fashion industry is the reason GFA and this report exist. Imagine a fashion industry that is not only exciting and bountiful, but sustainable and inclusive as well. Imagine fair pay and secure work environments for everybody who works in fashion. Imagine a substantial reduction of resource consumption and emissions. Imagine innovative new business models that decouple growth from production and allow for self-expression outside of garment ownership. In short, imagine a fashion industry that has a positive impact on everyone and everything it touches.

Just imagination? On the contrary, we believe that the imagination is only the beginning of a possible reality if we dare to make new pathways and bear the challenges along the way. The fashion industry has the power to inspire top talent, engage fashion lovers, attract potent investors, and win the support of communities worldwide. It is a net-positive fashion industry that will continue to prosper despite disruptive forces that range from digitisation and automation to the coronavirus pandemic and geopolitical tensions.

The fashion industry is already advancing towards a more sustainable, more inclusive, and more resilient future, but the current efforts will not suffice to align the industry with the target to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals laid out by the United Nations. But it’s not too late. It’s time for bold commitments, decisive actions, and rigorous follow-through.

As fashion leaders, you have the power to shape the course of change. You have the power to bring about a net-positive fashion industry that puts back more into society, the environment, and the global economy than it takes out. This report features the progress the industry has made so far. Many of the solutions and tools that fashion needs to improve already exist. It’s time to use them ambitiously. Now, as policies to promote a sustainable fashion industry emerge, it’s more essential than ever to take bold and urgent action. Think of this report as your companion on your journey. Dear fashion leaders, please join forces with your peers to create a meaningful change for a prosperous fashion industry. Indeed, if you do, everyone wins.

Federica Marchionni, CEO, Global Fashion Agenda

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