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BoF Insights | Does Fashion Stand a Chance of Hitting Its Sustainability Targets?

With all eyes on COP27, BoF Insights research into the sustainability initiatives of the world’s 30 largest publicly listed fashion companies underscores why the industry is at risk of missing sustainability goals set for the end of this decade.
Factory with pollution coming out of chimneys.
Progress on initiatives in fashion, thus far, has been too slow to uphold its part in this global effort, according to BoF Insights research. (Shutterstock)
By
  • Diana Lee

Against the backdrop of the COP27 gathering in Egypt, the fashion industry received yet another stark reminder that addressing the climate crisis is more urgent than ever, and industries can’t shirk their responsibility to accelerate sustainability initiatives and address the climate crisis.

Progress on initiatives in fashion, thus far, has been too slow to uphold its part in this global effort, according to recent research from BoF Insights, the think tank at The Business of Fashion. The Sustainability Index is an analysis and benchmarking of the industry’s largest players in luxury, sportswear and high street progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The most recent research from BoF Insights reveals a massive gulf between brands’ publicly disclosed commitments and their corresponding index scores on sustainability objectives. Companies are assessed out of six impact categories: Emissions, Transparency, Water & Chemicals, Materials, Workers’ Rights and Waste. In the 2021 index, the 15 companies had an average score of only 31 out of a possible 100 points; in the following year, that cohort’s average rose to 36 points. Extrapolating this growth over the next eight years would result in a significant shortfall against 2030 goals.

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For more insights, please see BoF Insights’ archive on topics like designer bags, resale, digital fashion, fashion’s supply chain, and Gen-Z’s approach to fashion.

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