The rating of sustainability: high marks for Italian fashion brands, low for Inditex, average for Kering and Richemont

On the one hand, the high-end business is moving randomly, on the other hand the Italian fashion system stands out, among its competitors, for its valuable commitment. A few days ago, Claudio Marenzi, president of Confindustria Moda, was talking of sustainability as “a hoax”: in fact, international fashion brands invest in sustainability merely for marketing purposes, whereas Italian companies are driven by an outstanding sense of responsibility (although final consumers are barely aware of such commitment). According to Standard Ethics, the British agency that assesses how corporations apply directions over environmental and social sustainability, given by UNO, OECD and EU, and rates the same corporations accordingly, the situation is pretty much the same as depicted by Marenzi. Glancing at the agency report, it turns out that Italian fashion brands have been taking higher marks overall. For instance, big groups such as Tod’s and Ferragamo have been awarded E and E+ respectively; likewise Stefano Ricci’s performance is absolutely positive, and Moncler is most confident, as their expectations are good (their E mark is meant to go up). Conversely, Spanish giant Inditex (that is, Zara) gets quite a bad mark, E-, and French-speaking Kering and Richemont groups simply keep up, not standing out though. Actually, Standard Ethics does not expect them to make a big step forward. As reported by Milano Finanza Fashion, analysts are a bit puzzled by “long-term strategies over sustainability that are often affected by personal interpretations”. In other words, they play the way they feel like.


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