Do pledges make a brand sustainable?

"Our goal is to propel those brands with the highest commitment to circular fashion; not shame those who do not [fulfill the pledge]. Therefore, we will not penalize participants who cannot complete their commitment. We will, however, remove brands that have not completed their commitment from the listings of Pledge signatories." That's what the organization behind the 2020 Circular Fashion Pledge said in response to the question, "Is there a penalty for not fulfilling my [brand's] commitment?" Promises, pledges, commitments, marketing schemes, whatever you want to call them, have long been used by brands and retailers to promote their sustainability practices without proof of implementation. In most cases, signing up for pledges is a win-win for brands and consumers. Brands can benefit from being "sustainable" while collecting funding and tools necessary to follow through on their claims. Consumers can know which brands acknowledge the need for sustainability and encourage those brands to continue improving their operations. But what happens when a brand doesn't stick to a pledge? Are they just quietly removed from a list? Should brands be punished?

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