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According to the Business of Fashion report, the fashion sector is at risk of falling short of its environmental targets

Images: Reuters Berita 24 English - Despite some sector leaders' incremental improvements, the fashion industry's 30 largest publicl...

Images: Reuters

Berita 24 English - Despite some sector leaders' incremental improvements, the fashion industry's 30 largest publicly traded companies risk falling short of the Paris climate agreement's and UN Sustainable Development Goals' social and environmental goals, according to a report released Tuesday by the Business of Fashion.

"You've got some front runners making small steps forward, but the big picture is that the industry is wildly underperforming," Sarah Kent, The Business of Fashion's chief sustainability correspondent, told Reuters.

Consumers and governments are putting increasing pressure on fashion firms to demonstrate that they are doing more to help the environment, with a particular focus on younger generations.

The online publication analyzed publicly-disclosed information of companies in three categories - luxury, sportswear, and high street fashion - in its second annual report, the Business of Fashion Sustainable Index 2022.

Puma took the top spot in the survey with a score of 49 out of 100, followed by last year's winner, Kering, which remained at the top of the luxury player rankings. Next in line were Levi Strauss, H&M Group, and Burberry, which was a new addition to the research this year.

The brands with the lowest scores were all newbies to the list, with sportswear and high-street fashion at the bottom.

"There are signs of progress, but it's largely incremental," Kent said. "We're not seeing the big transformational leaps that we really do need to see over the next 8 years in order to get from where we are today to an industry that is operating at a level that won't blow through the Paris climate agreement ambitions or other key industry targets."

As authorities and customers become more sceptical of inflated claims, organizations risk losing their cultural relevance and destroying long-term value, according to the paper.

Companies scored highest for progress in lowering emissions out of six topics, including workers' rights and materials, while making the least progress in reducing trash.

According to the report, the industry has to build new business models.

"For big executives at any fashion company, this is a really gnarly challenge — how do you satisfy your shareholders and demonstrate that you can continue to drive financial growth without driving production growth, without continuing to make more and thus extract more and thus create more waste?" Kent said.

The expanded scope of this year's assessment, which doubled the number of companies from last year's 15, dragged down the overall rankings.

"More companies almost always equaled worse outcomes," Kent added.

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