Search this website. You can use fund codes to locate specific funds

Fixing Fast Fashion

EOS publishes new white paper on the environmental impact of fast fashion

Fast reading

  • The fast fashion business model is inherently unsustainable due to its environmental impact
  • This paper sets out our expectations for companies to manage this impact
  • Identifies key performance metrics such as carbon emissions and water use per unit of production

The detrimental environmental impact of the fast fashion take-make-dispose model means it is inherently unsustainable and companies must adopt more circular approaches. In this paper, we look at how the industry will need to employ technical innovation in resource efficiency and recycling, as part of a shift towards circularity-driven value creation for customers.

It is also in the interest of investors to encourage apparel companies to improve the management of their environmental impacts and move to more circular consumption models. Changing consumer perceptions and the high probability that emerging regulations will impact profitability suggest that apparel companies should invest in more sustainable fibres and production processes, for example.

We have found that the maturity of approaches varies widely in the apparel sector. Some companies display very limited awareness of the need to reduce their environmental impact, while others have incorporated the ambition of circularity into their strategic decision-making. For example, Adidas has set a target that nine out of 10 of its articles will be sustainable by 2025 as part of its new growth strategy, presented in March 20211.

Ultimately, it is the actual performance of companies and their products in terms of their environmental impact that matters. Some of the key performance metrics that we have identified include carbon emissions and water use per unit of production. With improved disclosure, investors will be able to compare companies’ performance on a per unit or per sales basis.

It is also critical to see reporting on circular innovations such as the proportion of recycled materials inputted, the roll out of take-back schemes and consumer education on recycling, and the proportion of investment committed to circular innovation.

  1. 1 Adidas Press Release (10 March 2021) adidas presents growth strategy ‘Own the Game’ until 2025, adidas (adidas-group.com)

Related Insights

Sustainable oceans in focus in EOS’s Q2 Public Engagement Report
EOS takes a deep dive into our oceans, examining threats from overfishing, pollution and global heating.
Public Engagement Report Q2 2021
Our cover story this quarter looks at the threat to our oceans from overfishing, plastic pollution, temperature rises and chemical contaminants.
Shouting, but barely heard
Many frontline workers lack a voice and have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
From farm to fork - key challenges for global food systems
Animal agriculture plays an outsized role when it comes to contributing to the climate crisis, as well as other environmental and social issues.
Flexible and vulnerable - the gig worker's dilemma
The pandemic has highlighted society’s dependency on the gig economy to provide essential services, and the exacerbated risks associated with precarious work.
Key issues for Japan’s 2021 voting season
We have stepped up our voting recommendations at Japanese companies, particularly on gender diversity and climate change.

EOS Client Service and Business Development

Amy D’Eugenio,
Head of Client Service and Business Development, EOS