Sustainable fashion, a term gaining significant prominence in recent years, refers to the practice of producing and consuming clothing in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. The concept has become more relevant due to the fashion industry’s significant environmental impact. Hence, investors have also raised their level of focus as they look for attractive sustainable fashion stocks to increase their exposure to this emerging trend.
According to the research commissioned by the European Parliament, the fashion industry may be responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions. Hence, there have been increasing calls for the leaders in this industry to reduce that figure.
The essence of sustainable fashion lies in its holistic approach. It emphasizes reducing CO2 emissions, curbing overproduction, minimizing pollution and waste, promoting biodiversity and ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions for garment workers. That approach acknowledges every aspect of clothing production and consumption affects both the planet and the people involved.
The push towards sustainability comes at a time when the economy is showing signs of strength, with real GDP increasing by 2.5% in 2023. That growth, outpacing the estimated 2.4% and the previous year’s 1.9% rise, underscores the potential for sustainable fashion to thrive in a favorable economic climate.
Still, few brands have managed to tackle all these areas effectively, and even the most committed recognize the need for continual improvement. For many, a fundamental shift in buying habits and overall consumption of fashion is required to truly make a difference. That involves being more mindful and informed about the environmental and ethical implications of our clothing choices.
Here are several sustainable fashion stocks for ethical investors to consider buying as more and more companies seek to cut global carbon emissions.
Lululemon Athletica (LULU)
Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), a renowned athletic apparel company, is celebrated for its high-quality, stylish yoga and fitness wear. Its products, which include leggings, shorts, tops and accessories, are designed for health-conscious and active consumers who value durability and comfort.
By 2025, Lululemon Athletica aims to have at least 75% of its products made from sustainable materials. These materials include fibers that are recycled, renewable, regenerative, responsibly sourced or a combination thereof and are manufactured through processes using fewer resources.
Lululemon’s strategy involves designing products that are durable, aesthetically pleasing and sustainable. The company is committed to adopting better fibers, evolving manufacturing processes, innovating new materials and participating in industry collaborations to foster collective solutions.
A key goal for the company is to ensure that all its materials are traceable. By making polyester from used plastics instead of fossil fuels, LULU hopes to cut energy use by up to 45% and CO2e emissions by 30%.
LULU is down over 10% year-to-date.
Deckers Outdoor (NYSE:DECK), also known as Deckers Brands, is a notable player in the global fashion industry, specializing in designing, marketing and distributing innovative footwear, apparel and accessories. Its portfolio features prominent brands like UGG, Hoka One One, Teva, Sanuk and Koolaburra.
In its commitment to sustainability, Deckers Brands has made significant strides across all its brands in reducing footwear emissions, water and energy use per pair since the fiscal year 2019, aligning with its targeted physical intensity goals.
For instance, the company entered into collaboration with the Savory Institute, focusing on regenerative farming practices in Australia. By September 2023, Deckers influenced over 890,000 acres and more than 80 sheep farms, promoting environmentally friendly farming techniques.
Furthermore, Deckers expanded its environmental monitoring programs with manufacturing partners. That includes enhanced transparency through the utilization of the HIGG FEM module, now known as Worldly, and persistent monitoring of its supply chain partners through ongoing Life Cycle Assessment outreach efforts.
These initiatives underline Deckers Brands’ dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainable business practices. On the financial side, the company recently raised its FY24 diluted EPS guidance to $22.90 to $23.25.
The stock is up about 12% year-to-date.
Columbia Sportswear (COLM)
Columbia Sportswear (NASDAQ:COLM) has evolved into a global brand known for durable, versatile products. Unlike some other companies, this one has a dedicated team focused on assessing the environmental impacts of manufacturing processes. That makes it an attractive target for investors searching for sustainable fashion stocks.
Its goal is to measure, track and improve upon the energy consumption, waste production, water usage and chemical impacts associated with the creation of its products. To evaluate supplier performance and identify areas of strength and weakness in the supply chain, Columbia uses the Higg Index Facility Environmental Module.
Columbia Sportswear has completed two consecutive years of global greenhouse gas emissions reporting. These reports reveal emerging trends in the company’s impact. The primary source of Columbia’s emissions stems from product manufacturing.
The breakdown of these emissions shows that material inputs contribute 77%, material processing 15%, followed by product assembly at 6%. The emissions from owned and operated facilities account for less than 2% of the total.
Shares are flat year-to-date.
On the date of publication, Shane Neagle did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.