According to a consortium of environmental groups, most companies using cotton do nearly nothing to improve environmental sustainability in their supply. A report titled ‘Top Brands Failing on Cotton Sustainability’, compiled by Rank a Brand, one of Europe’s largest brand-comparison sites on sustainability and corporate social responsibility in conjunction with World Wildlife Fund - Solidaridad and Pesticide Action network UK, reveals that 29 of the estimated 37 biggest cotton users scored in the red in a recent survey of policy, sourcing, use and traceability.
Interestingly, H&M, which is known for its poor manufacturing oversight, dirt-cheap textiles, rampant green washing initiatives and its connection with repeated manufacturing tragedies, scores remarkably well on the Rank list, thereby raising questions as to the credibility of the list. H&M's favorable placement, however, is almost certainly due to the fact that only publicly available information was used in scoring company performance, the environmental groups said. Also placed highly on the list is Ikea, the only company to fall within the ‘Leading the Way’ category. This is followed by ‘On its Way,’ a level occupied by H&M and Adidas. Next up: ‘Starting the Journey,’ which include Kering (parent company to Gucci, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, and others) and Marks & Spencer. And ranking poorly, in the ‘Not Yet in the Starting Blocks’ category’ is Burberry, Macy’s, LVMH, Uniqlo’s parent company Fast Retailing, Coach, Gap, Ralph Lauren and Richemont.