Planet Tracker Urges Increased Water Risk Disclosure in the Apparel Industry

Emissions, Textiles

London 31 January – In a recent analysis of 3,900 documents, transcripts and filings from apparel-related companies, financial think tank Planet Tracker examined how the management teams of 29 major apparel brands perceive water-related risks.

The analysis – Exposing Water Risk  discovered a striking lack of attention to water-related risks in the apparel industry. An overwhelming 90% of the examined documents failed to mention water-related risks, with many companies barely mentioning water-related risk at all, highlighting a significant gap in disclosure practices.

Despite this, the findings reveal a notable increase in mentions of water-related risk over the analysed period, growing from approximately 2,000 in 2018 to more than 9,000 in 2022, implying that in the minority of documents where water-related risk is disclosed, the subject is being more frequently discussed.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) was employed to scan regulatory filings, investor meeting transcripts, annual reports, and sustainability reports for extracts focused on water-related risks.

The majority of disclosures come from non-luxury brands, followed by luxury brands, while companies mainly operating as apparel retailers show limited mentions of water-related risks.

Sustainability reports and annual reports emerged as the primary platforms for water-related disclosures, with minimal attention in transcripts from corporate events, suggesting a lack of focus from investors on this critical issue. Furthermore, the quality of water-related risk disclosures has remained relatively flat over the analysed period.

Most disclosed information is centred around water consumption, with toxins and contaminants receiving minimal attention. Planet Tracker emphasises the need for companies in the apparel industry to address water risk comprehensively, given that various stages of apparel manufacture are significant consumers of water.

“The availability of water is increasingly stressed in many parts of the world due to climate change, inefficient use, and untreated disposal. This could threaten textile production in key regions, disrupting supply chains”, warns Richard Wielechowski, Senior Investment Analyst (Textiles) at Planet Tracker.

Financial institutions, investors, and lenders in the apparel industry face financial exposure to water-related risks. Planet Tracker recommends the inclusion of water risk in investment decisions, urging financial institutions to consider the potential impact on supply chains and consumer pricing.

They advocate for pushing companies to disclose water use and risks through standardised frameworks such as the CDP. Additionally, Planet Tracker encourages investor support for engagement with the textile supply chain to address water usage and pollution associated with textile manufacture.

Read the Report here


For more information please contact:

Josh Hoppen, ESG Communications | t: +34 612 28 72 64 |


Planet Tracker is an award-winning non-profit think tank focused on sustainable finance with the purpose of ensuring that capital markets’ investment and lending decisions are aligned with planetary boundaries and support a just transition. Its mission is to create transformation of global financial activities by 2030 to bring about real world change in our means of production so that they align with a resilient, just, net-zero and nature-positive economy. Planet Tracker serves both as a watchdog on corporate behaviour, including issues such as greenwashing, and serves as an ally to support finance and business to know how to undertake transition. Having identified the companies causing the worst environmental and social damage within targeted supply chains, Planet Tracker then identifies the investors and lenders in these companies whose financing is enabling these practices to continue unchallenged.