Last week after much anticipation Global Fashion Agenda and The Boston Consulting Group have released the 2018 edition of the Pulse of the Fashion Industry report. The report is an assessment of the social and environmental responsibilities of the fashion industry, it also reveals the Pulse score that has raised comparing to last year.
According to the Copenhagen Fashion Summit media: “The Pulse Score is developed by drawing on the Sustainable Apparel Coalition's Higg Index and complimented by a survey of 90 senior managers and over 50 interviews”. The rise from 32 to 38 of the Pulse Score confirmed that sustainability is occupying an important place in the corporate agenda. This year’s report doesn’t just state the facts but also aims to give guidance to the fashion industry players how to find ways or further advances to become a more responsible business. It also shares proven best practices and defines the bigger steps that the industry has to take. Surprisingly becoming more responsible doesn’t have a negative impact on the financial progress of the company but quite the opposite: “Taking action not only improves the social and environmental performance of the industry, but results in a strong business case – raising the EBIT margin by 1 to 2 percentage points”. The base and direction are set. The majority of this year’s improvements have been made thanks to the companies in the mid-price segment. Sustainability isn’t reserved just for the big players, some of them are even having trouble changing the direction of their enormous corporate machines.
At the same time, almost one third of the fashion industry has yet to take action. The report collected high-impact solutions and best practices to develop a “Roadmap Scale”, a guide for the industry that offers inspirations and concrete actions that the companies can use immediately. But giving the magnitude and the pace of the change, implementing the existing practices isn’t enough. The “frontrunners” are already reaching their limits and in order to continue moving forward they need innovative solutions and new business models. Individual companies recognize that they cannot create the disruptive movement on their own, “the industry as a whole must develop partnerships and ecosystems that can commercialize and scale the most promising innovations on the horizon”.
The Copenhagen Fashion Summit is a leading business event on sustainability. This year’s sixth edition programme defines the top 7 sustainability priorities for fashion industry executives to take on. The event will host more than 75 speakers from the fashion industry, NGOs, politics and academia among others. “Speakers include fashion designer and sustainable fashion pioneer Stella McCartney, sustainability leaders William McDonough of McDonough Innovation and David Roberts of Singularity University, sustainability pioneer Dame Ellen MacArthur; CEO Spencer Fung of Li & Fung, COO Eric Sprunk of Nike; the founders of Vestiaire Collective, Fashion Revolution, High Snobiety and many more”. The Sixth edition is being attended by Dr Amanda Parkes, Chief Innovation Officer at Future Tech Lab, founded by Miroslava Duma, digital entrepreneur, investor and philantropist.
The full report as well as the executive summary are available for download on the Fashion Agenda website.