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Fast-fashion is an ethical nightmare

28/03/2019 · ASOS (ASC)  · plc (BOO)  · Burberry (BRBY)  · Marks & Spencer (MKS)  · Next (NXT)  · Ted Baker (TED) 

ESG Retail Shares

Lady browsing through shirts on a rack
In the first instalment of our premium series on building an ESG (environmental, social and governance) portfolio, we tackle the fashion industry – a sector which has come under heavy criticism for poor ethics in the last few years. Fast-fashion is not good for the environment, but there are plenty of retailers which put ethics first. These are the ones which stand to benefit from shifting demand.

Every second, a lorryload of textile waste ends up in a landfill site. The fashion industry is responsible for 92m tons of rubbish a year and more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Plastic microfibres which end up in the sea after we bin our year-old jumpers which have already gone out of style, kill an estimated 100,000 marine animals every year, while the manufacturing process of cotton garments produces a fifth of the world’s wastewater.

Our fast-fashion habit is draining the world of its natural resources and we need a solution. Now.

Many retailers are going out of their way to show that they have the environment in mind when they are making their products. Primark – owned by FTSE-listed company Associated British Foods (LON: ABF) – perhaps has more to prove than any of its peers, after facing a string of questions concerning how it can sell…

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