How can brands measure their social impact? It’s a question that has stumped the fashion industry for years. Because, without having that information on hand, how can brands communicate their performance on issues such as living wages across their supply chain? Saying you’re ethical is one thing. Showing it creates a concrete story. This year, in an effort to solidify their story about being a sustainable and ethical brand, French fashion house Chloe is developing a social impact tool that will measure how the brand performs across several key around areas throughout its supply chain. The Social Impact Measurement tool or Social Performance and Leverage (SP&L) will also be an open source for other fashion companies to use to measure and compare their impact.
The new tool will come at a time when transparency and an understanding of a brand’s social impact is desperately needed. Fashion Revolution published a 2021 report showing that the fashion industry’s progress in terms of being transparent across their supply chain is too slow. While some brands have released their own metrics for determining their impact and sustainability reports, there is not a universal method for brands to measure their social impact. Chloe’s tool will allow them to measure their impact throughout their supply chain and apply a value to it based on metrics created through reports published by the World Economic Forum and International Business Council. The Institut Français de la Mode and Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (the Foresight and Sustainable Development Department) is also partnering with Chloe on this tool to assess areas such as living wage, gender equality and workers’ wellbeing.
Over the last few years luxury fashion brands have been quick to adopt sustainable initiatives. In December 2020, Chloe appointed Gabrielle Hearst to the creative director role of the brand. Known for addressing environmental issues through her eponymous brand with sustainable initiatives such as using compostable bio-plastics for all of her packaging, Gabriela has also brought the same school of thought to Chloe. In 2021 the designer focused on upcycling and the removable of synthetic materials for more recycled natural materials. She also raised awareness about the loss o biodiversity due to harmful pesticides and herbicides used in growing cotton. This season Chloe continues to strive towards their 2025 goals and forming partnerships with organizations such as Manos del Uruguay and Sheltersuit to support the local artisans who help craft the current collection.
This tool shows the brand’s potential to better demonstrate its commitment to environmental and social issues. Not only can positive and negative impacts be measured, but also strategies can be implemented to help brands visualize their ethical goals.
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