15 April 2021

Measuring the Fashion’s Sustainability Gap

The Business of Fashion (BOF) analysed the performance of 15 of fashion’s largest companies against environmental and social targets.

The Index takes stock of the progress made, identifies shortcomings and lays out a clear framework for future advancements to meet climate and sustainable development goals over the next decade and beyond.

The report presents targets and in-depth analysis that the industry should aim to achieve in the following six categories:

  1. Transparency | a critical first step required to identify strategic focus areas. However, progress for foundational goal remains very slow as data is limited, hard to find, is self-reported and not verified. 
  2. Emissions | a strong framework already exists, but emissions are not decreasing in line with targets. Measuring progress is challenging due to the participation of global third-party suppliers.  
  3. Water & Chemicals | approaches to water management is becoming sophisticated, but more momentum is needed to eliminate hazardous chemicals, including microfibre pollution is an emerging area of focus. 
  4. Materials | raw materials supply chains remain a blind spot, but some certified materials with a better environmental and social impact have hit the mainstream. However, data to quantify the impact of the shift to more sustainable materials is limited. 
  5. Workers’ Rights | labour rights are still considered a baseline as improving the framework has failed many garment workers for years—commitments to living wage lacks concrete action. 
  6. Waste | is the worst-performing category in the index with no clear standard for reporting or target setting. Added to that, circularity is far from being embraced in material sourcing and design modelling.  

You can download the Business of Fashion Sustainability Index 2021 here