12% of fashion retailers expect to be fully circular within 2 years

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A new study with board directors and senior executives who work for fashion brands and retailers reveals 12% expect their business to be fully circular within two years, 34% within three years and 31% within four years.

The study by Aquapak Polymers also shows that 20% of respondents expect to achieve circularity this goal within five years. 32% rated their strategy for making their business fully circular as excellent, 54% said it was good and 14% described it as average.

37% said that reducing the use of polyethene plastic in packaging is a “highly important” part of their sustainability strategy, and a further 63% said it was quite important.

The research, conducted by PureProfile, surveyed 100 board and senior executives, including CEOs, Retail Directors, Chief Operating Officers, Sustainability Directors and Finance Directors, in the UK, US and Australia in November 2023.

Our study shows that the circular economy and sustainability are priorities for boards and senior executives in the fashion industry.

54% of respondents described their business as a “market leader and innovator”, 39% said that their business was average and “following the leaders” and 7% described their business as “playing catchup”.

The findings also show that while 49% said sustainability is regarded as highly important to the success of their business, only 21% described the quality of their sustainability strategy and programme as excellent.

Mark Lapping, CEO of Aquapak, commented: “Our study shows that the circular economy and sustainability are priorities for boards and senior executives in the fashion industry, although only half think that their business is at the vanguard of change when it comes to innovation and market leadership.

“There has been an acceleration in new technologies in the sector, so the opportunity for brands to step up and lead the industry is there for the taking. Aquapak is already working with several early-adopter fashion companies who are determined to drive a significant change in the industry by embracing upstream innovation in packaging.”

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