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Maclean’s just released its Top 50 Socially Responsible Companies in Canada list with a few notable fashion names including Zara, H&M, Adidas, Gildan and Nike. The companies were rated across a broad range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) indicators tracked by Sustainalytics and ranked in their industries. Their performance was judged based on processes they have embraced including their environmental initiatives, impact on local communities, treatment of employees and supply chain management.

Each of the companies evaluated had a significant market share or brand presence in Canada and is featured on at least one of the following lists: the ROB Top 1000, the ROB Top 350, Globe and Mail’s 20 Largest Co-Ops and Credit Unions or Interbrand’s Best Canadian or Best Global Brands lists.

These fashion brands were highlighted for their use of materials (silver or gold certified leather and other sustainable materials) or rather the materials they didn’t use (fur, harmful chemicals and dyes, etc.), their practices (no animal testing, internal sustainability venture capital funding, good working conditions for employees, alternative energy usage, etc.) and special initiatives they have taken on such as collecting unwanted garments.

It is exciting to see so many garment retailers pushing the sustainability agenda. We can only hope that these large brands don’t cannibalize the movement, continue to be transparent and sustainable and encourage other brands to adopt sustainability as a way of doing business.