Driving sustainability in retail fashion
Mounting pressure from consumers and investors, combined with government regulation, has accelerated the need for product-level transparency on sustainability for the retail fashion industry. The textile sector alone has more than 100 certification schemes and labels. And yet, half of the consumers in the Accenture Sustainable Fashion Survey cited vague, misleading, or difficult to understand sustainability and ethical impact claims as a deterrent for considering the sustainability of an apparel item in their purchasing decision.
By aligning around a harmonized approach for communicating product-level sustainability information, the industry has a significant opportunity to build trust and help consumers make more sustainable choices. And that’s where the Impact Index comes in—a standardized, industry-wide label to define trusted product-level sustainability claims.
Communicating to retail fashion consumers
There are three key challenges that fashion retailers face when defining their sustainability claims.
Introducing the Impact Index for fashion
Informed by consumer findings—combined with an understanding that some level of consumer education is necessary—we propose a set of core categories to include in the MVP of an industry-wide label. This recommendation is a first step based on the industry’s current capabilities, and aims to incorporate additional topics and drive continuous improvement as data availability and assurance matures. The framework’s core categories address the product itself and three out of the top four highest rated categories by consumers.
To enable success, the Impact Index needs a back-end system that is standardized and automated, ensuring brands can quickly share sustainability information with a variety of retailers in real-time.
Here are the core categories powering the label:
Closing the gap between retailers and consumers
The opportunity to close the gap between what fashion brands and retailers are doing now to communicate product-level sustainability data and how consumers want to consume that data is clear. The Impact Index’s data categories, rooted in consumer research and vetted by brands, aims to resolve this. Read the full report.