Report: Big Brands Claiming to Be Sustainable Are Anything But

Non-profit, Green America, recently took a closer look at 14 of America’s biggest apparel brands and found that, despite an increase in consumer demand for – and company claims of – sustainable production practices, most of the label’s supply chains are still dirty as hell.

While nearly all of the companies profiled “say that they have a policy addressing an environmental or labor issue,” none of them provide any “detail about what they are doing to measure their progress or achieve their goal.”

And while it’s true that some companies are “increasingly incorporating sustainability efforts into their policies,” often those efforts only address a single issue, and / or are only implemented to “demonstrate their commitment to sustainability when in reality, they are not addressing most issues in their supply chains.”

All that said, the report did note that transparency is “improving but still lacking,” mentioning that Target, VF, Nike and Gap now “identify chemicals used in their supply chains” and Ascena Retail, The Children’s Place and Urban Outfitters all rely on a Restricted Substances List for chemical management policy. (Also, for what it’s worth, six of those companies actually identify the factories that they source from.)

As for which of the 14 companies examined is the greenest, Green America says none of them. But, Target, VF, Nike are definitely trying the hardest, while Carter’s, J.Crew, Forever 21 “were clearly laggards.”

“When consumers want something, the markets listen,” the report concludes, “and we must continue to demand more of companies.”

You can read more about it at Green America.

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  • S.O. Crane

    Green-washing TM