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Robeco Launches Fashion Engagement Equities Strategy
Market Outlook

Robeco Launches Fashion Engagement Equities Strategy

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13 NOV, 2023

By Johanna Zidani from RankiaPro Europe

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Robeco introduces its groundbreaking approach, the Fashion Engagement Equities strategy, a pioneering move in the investment market solely centered on the fashion industry. With a dual focus on ensuring compelling investment returns and catalyzing pivotal shifts within the fashion sector, this strategy marks a pivotal step in addressing the industry's challenges.

Robeco's Investment Strategy Takes on Industry Challenges

Robeco, on November 13, 2023, has unveiled its Fashion Engagement Equities strategy, designated under Article 8 of the RDIS. This novel investment strategy is geared towards securing long-term attractive investment returns while actively engaging with all companies within its portfolio.

The fashion industry, boasting $2.5 trillion in annual sales and employing over 300 million individuals across its supply chain, remains a burgeoning sector poised for continued growth. Its future expansion is projected to be fueled by factors such as global population increase, rising disposable income, and conspicuous consumption.

However, the industry grapples with significant social and environmental challenges. The average remuneration for garment workers is 45% below locally recognized fair wages. Additionally, out of the 100 billion garments manufactured annually, less than 1% is recycled for new production. The industry accounts for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, necessitating urgent sustainable solutions.

Investment Approach and Impact

The new strategy targets investment and interaction with 30 to 40 publicly traded companies spanning the entire value chain of the fashion industry. Embracing megatrends such as precarization, premiumization, circularity, and automation, the selection process focuses on companies contributing to sustainable solutions.

Robeco's investment philosophy emphasizes the essential nature of preserving economic, environmental, and social assets to foster a healthy economy and generate compelling future returns.

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"We firmly believe that economic benefits and positive change can go hand in hand. The demands for transformation within the fashion industry are ever-increasing. Over the long term, companies excelling in sustainability are likely to outperform their counterparts. As long-term shareholders, it's our responsibility to encourage transparency and sustainable practices within each company. We believe this strategy offers investors a position to benefit from and promote the sustainable transition within the fashion industry."

Dora Buckulčíková, Portfolio Manager at Robeco
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