In the last few years we have seen an increase in companies and brands who are changing the way they run things. We have taken part and supported companies in: changing their product lines, helped them by offering valuable information on how and from where they can source their materials, and what types of fabrics they should use. We also took part in the whole process and offered insights on how companies and brands can support their employees in the different stages of the business, from manufacturing to getting the product to the customer.
Our experience from all of these activities led us to believe and see first hand that the views of the customers are changing and that companies and brands need to adapt fast.
The most important thing corporations need to know is that their customers are starting to value companies and brands they can trust. The current consumer wants to purchase from companies and brands which are: transparent in their work, create an impact, offer sustainable alternatives to regular products and are speaking about causes that matter.
If you are interested in learning more about the shift in consumers’ views, we have written an article about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Seen From The Customer’s Perspective which you can find here.
In today’s article, we are going to go over different examples on how the clothing and accessories industry is introducing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability Strategies in their day to day operations.
First of all, we want to mention that overall, the clothing industry has had over the years (and is still having) a lot of ethical issues that they are dealing with. Some of the most frequent issues found in the fashion industry include: low wages, child labor, animal cruelty, health and safety risks, environmental issues and the list, unfortunately can still go on. While we wanted to mention these aspects, the goal of this article is not to go over the issues of fast fashion or general unethical practices found in the fashion / clothing industry. The goal of this article is to shed some light into what can be changed. This article is meant to offer examples of what can be done, and what is being done in the recent period. We plan to do this by offering different examples and approaches that we have seen being implemented and or are being considered. With all this in mind, now, we can get started.
Examples on how the Fashion, Clothing and Accessories Industry Incorporates CSR Strategies and Sustainability Strategies
It is projected that the global market of the clothing accessories and also footwear industry will be worth by 2025, around +$1.002 trillion. That is a lot! Before going over the examples, we want to mention that we do not want to pinpoint specific companies that are actively doing CSR or Sustainability Strategies. In this section, we are only going to mention some of the efforts we are seeing in the fashion, clothing and accessories space when it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and how they translate.
In recent years, we have started to hear the term “ethical fashion” used more often. This term generally covers the act of reducing the negative impact of animals, people and the planet in the fashion industry. Ethical fashion can be implemented at any point in the business but it is incorporated in the ethical fashion design, production, retail, and purchasing part.
For example, some CSR initiatives in the clothing and accessories industry can be:
- Taking a stand against animal cruelty and not creating products derived from: fur, leather and the list can go on.
- Treating the workers well by (there are serious concerns when it comes to how workers are treated and in what exploitative working conditions)
- Checking the material and product sources. For example cotton is widely used but it requires a lot of insecticides and pesticides which can do more harm than good in the long term, affecting the environment and the farmer working with the cotton
- Current textile growing practices. Many practices are very unsustainable for the long term.
- Repurposing old items and using pieces of them to re-create other products. There is a real concern with items with the disposable nature of high street fashion
- Supporting Community Fair Trade (different programs)
- Supporting Ethical Trade (Ethical Trade Program, Supplier Code of Conduct)
- Creating inclusive pieces that can be available for everyone.
- Changing their packing to more sustainable solutions.
- Taking a stand in helping the Planet and being overall more environmentally conscious: generating less waste, reduction of CO2 emissions, electricity consumption, increasing the amount of recyclable material, decreasing useless packaging materials.
- Being open about their values, mission on what they stand for while also taking initiative for all of these. Examples of these values include: authenticity, respect for all parts involved, transparency.
While there can be many other sustainability and CSR initiatives that can be done in the fashion, clothing and accessories industry, these examples can be considered as good starting points. We also have to keep in mind what the customers are currently doing. What they are purchasing and how they are viewing the current industry. Since the pandemic, we started to see a lot of change take place in the fashion and clothing industry, especially on how people currently relate to purchasing clothing items. For example, we are currently seeing overall lower estimate numbers and transactions compared to different periods.
We hope you found this article helpful and informative. While we agree that there are still a lot of things that need to be changed, we see that progress is made daily, even if it is done in small, incremental steps. We are proud to say that we enjoy being on the path of constant growth and development and we hope to see even more companies and brands implement more sustainable business solutions in the near future.
We thank you for taking your time to read CSR Growth and please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Are you interested in reading about Examples on How The Cosmetic and Beauty Industry Incorporates Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability Strategies? Please check out the article here.