LONDON – As young people demonstrate globally about climate disruption, the May/June Apparel Insider magazine asks whether company boards at major fashion brands are out of touch with this devastating issue – and can be trusted to do the right thing by the planet. Our research into the boards of leading apparel industry brands found most board members are white and male, with an average age in their late 50s/early 60s.
“Would an apparel industry board member in their early 60s be as motivated as somebody 30 years younger to take business actions which could ultimately help the planet another quarter of a century down the line?” we ask. “Can people who might not be here in 30-40 years be relied upon to make decisions in the best interests of the long-term future of the planet? Or will short-term gain and the pressure to deliver shareholder ‘value’ win-out?
“Young people might dominate the news agenda on climate issues. But the real influence lies on the boards of big business, predominantly with white, middle aged men. The question is, are such people listening?”
A snapshot of our findings:
- Nike has 14 board members, three of them female, with an average age of 60.
- Levi’s has 11 board members, three of them female with an average of 64.
- VF Corp has 11 board members, three of them female with an average age of 58.
- Gap Inc has 14 board members, four of them female with an average age of 57
- H&M has 10 board members, with a 50-50 male to female split. Average age is 54
- Adidas has an executive board made up of six, with one female and an average age of 54.
- Fast Retailing, which owns Uniqlo, has nine board members with an average age of 61 and no females.
- Associated British Foods, which owns Primark, has eight board members with two women and an average age of 60
- Asos has seven board members with two women and an average age of 56
Full feature in our next magazine. For subscription details, click HERE