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ASOS pledges to cut total emissions

Part of its newly published sustainability strategy, ASOS will aim to achieve a net-zero impact on the environment by 2030, all while keeping prices affordable.

Just this morning, e-commerce giant ASOS released the next phase of its Fashion with Integrity programme, outlining targets to better both its environmental and social impact.

To date, the FWI initiative has led ASOS to reduce its operational carbon emissions per order by 45% between 2016 and 2020, switch to using 80% recycled material in mailing and garment bags, and launch a Circular Collection boasting ‘zero waste’ designs.

A response to rising demand for ethical and sustainable brands, it said it would try to address unabating calls from shoppers for ‘greater choice in responsible fashion,’ with targets on emissions reductions, recycling, and worker representation.

These include ensuring all of its own-brand products are made from eco-friendly materials by 2030, improving transparency in regard to its supply chain, reducing carbon emissions generated by its garment production and deliveries, and recruiting a more diverse workforce under its human rights strategy, including 50% female and 15% minority representation across its leadership team.

The announcement itself comes on the back of persistent criticisms from campaigners and conscious consumers over the carbon footprint of mass-produced cheap clothing that’s treated as disposable by trend-chasing buyers.

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Not to mention the issue of industry-wide underrepresentation and alleged minimum wage violations that’s forced companies such as Boohoo to rethink their entire model.

‘The responsibility for a sustainable future lies with all of us and businesses must lead the way,’ said CEO Nick Beighton in a statement, who also explained that the initial marginal cost increases this may cause (affordability is what’s keeping the sector afloat right now) won’t last long.

‘We undertake the next step of our FWI journey confident that what we are doing is right for the planet, right for our people, right for our customers and will underpin our ambitious growth plans.’

Additionally, ASOS is seeking to enhance the ‘circularity’ of its products, from fabric to packaging.

This, as we know, is a long way off from the ‘take, make, use, throw,’ approach both brands and consumers have become accustomed to, and sets the scene for a bright – non-damaging – future of fashion.

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One that doesn’t rely on new plastics like polyester, acrylic and nylon which helps to sustain the fossil fuel industry and eventually adds to global waste.

‘We cannot do this alone,’ finished Beighton, referring to the third-party brands that retail via the site its working with on setting climate targets approved by Science Based Targets.

The aim is to use ASOS’s influence to encourage better practices across the board.

‘As we’ve seen throughout the last decade, collaboration and engagement with other brands, civil society organisations and government is critical to driving lasting change.’

‘We will work closely with our brand partners and our suppliers, and we will forge new relationships and partnerships to drive progress and build new solutions to enable the achievement of our FWI 2030 goals.’


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