Polymer supplier Aquapak Polymers has revealed the significance attributed to sustainability by board directors and senior executives of fashion brands in the UK, the US and Australia.

Aquapak is working with several early-adopter fashion companies on upstream innovation in packaging, including its soluble base plastic polymer Hydropol.

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12% of executives expect their business to be fully circular within one to two years, 34% within two to three years and 31% within three to four years. One-fifth expect to reach this goal in four to five years.

More than one-third (37%) said that reducing the use of polyethylene plastic in packaging is a highly important part of their sustainability strategy, and a further 63% said it was quite important.

Almost one-third (32%) rated their strategy for making their business fully circular as excellent, over half (54%) said it was good and 14% described it as average, suggesting there is room for improvement.

When it comes to sustainability leadership, more than half (54%) described their business as a market leader and innovator, 39% said that their business was average and “following the leaders” and 7% described their business as a laggard and “playing catch-up”.

How can fashion brands tackle packaging?

Fashion brands can address issues with their packaging either at the beginning of the production process – by ensuring the use of sustainable materials – or at the last stage with the end consumer, by collecting packaging waste for re-use and even redesign.

Aquapak CEO Mark Lapping commented: “There has been an acceleration in new technologies in the fashion sector, so the opportunity for brands to step up and lead the industry is there for the taking.”