Increasingly, the global fashion industry is claiming environmental and social sustainability across their production activities. However, our research reveals that these claims are far from being scientifically robust to be made consumer-facing. Further work is necessary to develop a science-based protocol for sustainability claims in fashion.

Sustainable Fashion

Garment factory

The global fashion industry is allegedly one of the most environmentally polluting industries in the world and news reports about sweatshop conditions in supplier factories are common. Yet, consumer-facing sustainability claims in the fashion industry are everywhere!

Consumers’ awareness of sustainability issues is growing and they are increasingly suspicious: How do such divergent reports fit together? How robust are the sustainability claims of fashion brands?

Our research highlights the lack of scientific evidence for many of the fashion industry’s current sustainability claims. We look into the supply chains of different fibers, sustainability initiatives, and sustainability assessment methodologies and conclude that currently, none of these provide a robust basis for making sustainability claims. This is especially important to investigate as today’s fast fashion brands’ sustainability claims are wrongfully guiding consumption patterns, investment decisions, and regulation.

Our objective

Sentence “Buy Less. Choose well. Make it last.” with letters of the Scrabble game

We strive to support the industry and regulators to develop a science-based protocol for sustainability claims in fashion. We are partnering with Eco-Age, a sustainable business agency in pursuing this objective.