Science Based Targets Initiative
Guess is an American fashion brand that’s been around since the ‘80s, during which it gained fame for its jeans. The company is currently mostly known for its bags and accessories but produces a wide range of products. Guess has partnered up with a bunch of reputable organizations, which shows an ambition for improvement. The brand publishes its supply chain emissions through the Carbon Disclosure Project and has set a reduction target in collaboration with the Science Based Targets Initiative. Its emissions are currently increasing, but the target for 2021 includes a 15% reduction. In order to achieve this, it needs to step up its game. Renewable energy and its impact on water use and chemicals could contribute to this. These are areas that are currently either underreported on or not really monitored. Packaging can be greatly improved since it currently consists of mainly plastics, of which 60% is made with recycled materials. Guess is somewhat transparent about its material sourcing, which largely consists of cotton and synthetic fibers. The company sources 2% of cotton more sustainably from the Better Cotton Initiative and has targets for 10% more sustainable materials and 20% Better Cotton by 2020. American brand gets points for transparency, but uses a large chunk of unsustainable materials and non-certified animal materials. Social audits were conducted for 28% by external auditors and the company neither reports who these auditors were, nor what its frequency or findings were. It largely conducts audits with its own Guess Social Compliance Team, reports that there were several issues found and had to eliminate contracts with a few factories. It’s good that the company does its own audits as well, but since this has proven to be very prone to corruption and the company produces in high-risk countries, there is a definite need to increase the percentage of audits that are conducted and reported by independent third parties.