Corporate social responsibility or CSR is becoming an increasingly important part of making fashion more sustainable. CSR is used to describe a company’s efforts to improve society or the environment. Crucially for the textile industry, this includes implementing environmentally sustainable policies across the entire production chain. Successful eco-friendly CSR policies can help reduce environmental impact and increase the sustainability of textiles, while also benefiting the company. Manufacturers and brands within the textile industry are increasingly aware of their responsibility towards society and the environment, developing effective and exciting CSR programs. CSR is essential to address the current damaging cycle of fast fashion, and consumers, brands and manufacturers must all play their part. This article takes a look at the importance of effective, eco-friendly CSR polices that benefit both companies and the environment.

The real ways effective corporate social responsibility will benefit a textile business

Corporate social responsibility is hugely beneficial for companies. Implementing an effective CSR policy to positively impact environmental issues and textile sustainability can generate major positives for a brand. These benefits include increased brand recognition, greater business reputation on a global scale and greater opportunities to attract better and more qualified staff. A well designed CSR strategy for textile sustainability implemented with a textile management consultant will lead to increased operational cost savings, more effective growth and a generally increased financial performance. These tangible benefits are obvious, but the increased PR opportunities and goodwill generated from eco-friendly and sustainably aware brands is hugely positive for a modern textile company too.

Textile industry CSR provides both challenges but also opportunities

As CSR becomes more essential, opportunities and challenges are generated in equal measure.  The impact of good CSR leads to an increasingly sustainable textile production chain, but the global nature of the supply chain can also bring challenges for your business. As discussed in the industry, there are many CSR challenges to create a sustainable fashion industry. These include government legislation across the supply chain in many different countries, creating the desire by manufacturers to change and addressing a culture of disposable fashion that is prevalent worldwide. Implementing long term sustainability schemes can also meet with resistance in a profit dominated industry often focused on short term gain.

However, the impact of great CSR is too good for any modern textile manufacturer to ignore. Good corporate social responsibility practices can massively impact sustainability of the fashion industry. As the recycling industry continues to struggle, and the cycle starts to break down, sustainability focus is vital. H&M has implemented successful CSR schemes such as garment collecting in stores, working closely and transparently with suppliers and manufacturers and aiming to use only sustainable organic cotton by 2020. Working hard to close the loop publicly has benefited H&M’s brand awareness immensely, leading them to be considered the forefront of effective textile industry CSR schemes. Another successful CSR scheme is M&S’s plan-a. They have outlines their commitments to address environmental and social impacts of their production, with the bold aim to ensure 100% of their products addresses all of their social and environmental impacts.

Corporate social responsibility is the future for a thriving fashion industry

Brands and manufacturers should take the time to develop impactful, effective CSR schemes that will help to create a more sustainable global textile industry. Good CSR schemes are impactful across the whole of a textile business, as well as at a global textile industry and societal levels. Generating positive brand benefits such as better PR, trust among customers and increased brand awareness go hand in hand with reduced impact on the environment and eco-friendly manufacturing messages. Corporate social responsibility is no longer a choice- it’s an essential component of a modern textile company.