Deloitte survey: CSR isn’t in fashion among CBS students

Skrevet af Jannick Friis ChristensenTranslated by Felix Kasperek - Foto: Sherry Zhang licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic - 18. marts 2014 - 15:231 kommentar
Although the number of sustainable initiatives in the fashion industry is growing, many students still lack faith in the companies’ CSR work.

A survey conducted by Deloitte among CBS students shows that the students have a hard time seeing a connection between sustainability and fashion. The consumers lack trust in the CSR initiatives of the fashion industry, because of the lack of transparency. Participate in a new survey about the subject.

Students don’t trust the fashion industry’s CSR work
The sustainable initiatives in the fashion industry are increasing in number. However, young people still lack faith in the CSR work of the fashion industry.

That’s the conclusion of a survey conducted by the auditing and consulting firm Deloitte, among the students of CBS Case Competition 2014.

The students that took part in the survey can’t seem to see a connection between sustainability and fashion, and those who can find the fashion industry’s attempt to accept social responsibility nothing short of hypocritical.

Only 10 percent deliberately shop for sustainable apparel
The numbers in Deloitte’s survey speak a language that can’t be misunderstood: only 10 percent answer that they deliberately go for sustainable goods when they shop for apparel. Many of the questioned students answer that their purchases of sustainable apparel were coincidences.

Whether its coincidences that led to 6 out of 10 students answering yes to owning apparel that’s certified by CSR standards, isn’t clear from the survey.

However, the survey shows that young consumers are highly influenced by the media. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the students of the survey see a connection between poor working conditions and child labor with CSR (or rather lack thereof) in the fashion industry.

Transparency is the new black
Deloitte’s Fashion Analysis 2014 (Danish only) proclaims transparency the new black. When asked, Bahare Haghshenas, manager of Deloitte Sustainability, calls transparency the most important aspect to improve, if companies want to gain trust from the customers.

- Transparency is lacking, which means that consumers can’t find the necessary information on how the fashion industry works with sustainability, she says.

Bahare Haghshenas thinks the fashion industry has taken an abundance of initiatives in the area and mentions the use of sustainable materials, recycling and minimization of resources spent in production.

However, It takes a lot of communication to get it into the heads of the consumers, she thinks.

- The fashion industry has to involve its consumers in the work with sustainability and CSR. A good example is H&M, where consumers can return their used clothes, and Icebreaker where you can follow your clothes back to its ‘place of birth’ through a barcode, Bahare Haghshenas explains.

Participate in survey about fashion and CSR
A total of 250 students participated in Deloitte’s event about sustainability in the fashion industry, during the Case Competition in week nine. Of the 250 possible respondents, 83 participated in the survey itself.

To get a better picture, CBS OBSERVER is collaborating with Deloitte on getting more respondents – and you can participate.

By clicking on this link, you’ll be sent to the survey. It takes less than five minutes to complete. When a large enough number of responses have been submitted, CBS OBSERVER will of course report on the results in a new article.


I think it also a question of budget. If you ask students like me, they probably do not have the money to purchase sustainable clothes at all times - at least from my experience!

Also, I think the concept of sustainability in fashion is hard to grasp for the consumer because we all know that some information can be manipulated and one never knows if it is 100% trustworthy or not. There are always news about bad factory conditions or worker exploitation.

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