Study shows little progress: fashion industry is lagging behind when it comes to climate protection

Study shows little progress
The fashion industry is lagging behind when it comes to climate protection

So far, the fashion industry has made little progress when it comes to climate protection. According to the “Circular Fashion Index 2022”, just seven percent of fashion manufacturers regularly recycle their materials. The industry also performs poorly on other environmental issues.

So far, the fashion industry has shown little progress in climate protection worldwide. This is the result of the “Circular Fashion Index 2022” published by the management consultancy Kearney. The industry is “still at the beginning of a longer journey that goes beyond recycling, longer durability, rental models and improved care instructions,” said Kearney retail expert Mirko Warschun.

The study examined 150 global brands from 20 countries across six categories: Sports & Outdoors, Underwear/Lingerie, Luxury, Premium/Affordable Luxury, Mass Market and Fast Fashion. The focus was on the question of how sustainably the companies work and how they extend the life cycle of their products in the sense of a circular economy. Overall, the industry continued to perform poorly: “Only seven percent of the companies surveyed use recycled materials to a credible extent on a regular basis, 54 percent only for a few selected items and 39 percent not at all,” reported the authors of the study.

Hardly any repair offers

The situation is even worse when it comes to the longevity of the products, which are more expensive to ensure. Comprehensive repair services were therefore offered by only five percent of fashion manufacturers – especially luxury brands. Second-hand sales are only offered by five percent of the companies. Only two percent offered rental or leasing services.

According to the study, the industry was also surprisingly reticent when it came to communication measures that could be implemented quickly and easily: 44 percent completely dispensed with communication on sustainability and 40 percent only provided the minimum information in the care instructions. In the study, luxury and premium brands achieved the highest score thanks to their detailed care instructions and repair services. Fast fashion and underwear/lingerie had the lowest values. It was said that second-hand or rental services were more difficult to implement here.

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