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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not new. However, the relevance of CSR to brand valuation for investors and other stakeholders is increasing exponentially year after year. As a new generation of talent and consumers becomes increasingly more “woke” (read: aware) to environmental, political, and social issues, CSR becomes a critical factor in increasing—or diminishing—brand value. This is particularly relevant in the fashion industry where sustainability and other hot-button political and social issues have come to the forefront.

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably hearing about CSR from a variety of sources, multiple times a day. Indeed, almost every recent issue of Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) features news about what fashion brands are doing (or not doing) to embrace sustainability. Brands that refuse to embrace CSR face potential diminution in value or, even worse, the slow and painful death known as irrelevance.

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