Part II: Sustainable by the index
The 2022 Kearney Circular Fashion Index has a median score of 2.97 out of 10 – there is yet much to be done
The Circular Fashion Index (CFX), set up by US-based consulting giants AT Kearney, attempts to analyze claims from Europe’s 100 largest fashion brands of moving to a more circular fashion model stressing on sustainability and minimizing negative environmental and social externalities.
The challenge: mitigating the monumental environmental cost being borne by the global fashion industry.
AT Kearney research finds, that “both industry and consumer awareness and activity have increased since 2020, resulting in a heightened awareness of the role fashion plays – or doesn’t play – in creating a more sustainable environment. Google searches for sustainable fashion are up by 350 percent.”
In fact, search trends on Google show a steady rise in the search for the keyword ‘sustainable fashion’, peaking at a hundred (on a scale of 0-100) during Q2 2022 and with developed economies expectedly leading from the front.
With second-hand platforms boasting double-digit growth currently and major players in the fashion industry, such as H&M, posting over a hundred times in the past year on topics such as carbon dioxide reduction, biodegradability, and circularity, things definitely seem to be moving in the right direction.
But there is much more the industry can — and should — be doing in terms of promoting sustainability. Every fashion brand should try to become like the front-runners — Patagonia, Levi’s, and The North Face. That would have tremendous environmental benefits, but it would also require brands to be serious about reforming their policies.
As a whole — and with clear shining examples of the opposite — when it comes to the industry’s efforts to date to mitigate its negative impact on the environment there is the little practical distinction between circular fashion and just running around in circles.
– AT Kearney Research
How does one, however, keep track of who is doing what and to what degree?
The Circular Fashion Index, assessed across 150 global brands over 20 countries and six categories, scores a company’s circularity performance based on a weighted score across seven dimensions (both in the primary market as well as the secondhand/recycling market) affecting the garments’ longevity. The index is then represented on a score from one to 10, 10 being the highest.
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