May 7, 2019
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Sustainability progress is slowing down across the fashion industry, new report warns

May 7, 2019

Sustainability is a hot topic in the fashion industry, but according to a new report, the pace of progress is slowing down.


The 2019 update of ‘Pulse of the Fashion Industry' -- an annual assessment of the fashion sector's environmental and social performance, published by Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) -- suggests that the industry is not moving quickly enough to counterbalance the harmful impact on the planet presented by its own growth. According to the report, progress in the area has slowed down by a third in the past year, meaning that the clothing industry remains a net contributor to climate change.

"These latest findings emphasize the dire need for the whole industry to join the race and accelerate change now," said Morten Lehmann, chief sustainability officer at Global Fashion Agenda, in a statement. "Scaling existing solutions will depend on leadership from brands. However, some transformational changes will take cooperation among policy makers and stakeholders across the entire value chain."

The report uses a measure called the ‘Pulse Score' to record sustainability progress in the fashion world. While this score increased from 38 to 42 (of a possible 100) in 2019, last year showed faster growth, with the score rising by six points. The report predicts that if the industry's score continues its current trajectory, it will fail to compensate for the output of the clothing and footwear industry -- which is projected to grow by 81% to 102 million tons by the year 2030.

Multiple fashion brands have tackled the issue of sustainability over recent years, with recent initiatives ranging from a fully-recyclable running shoe being trialled by Adidas, to the announcement made by the H&M Group in April that 57% of the materials it now uses are created using recycled or other sustainably sourced fibers. 


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