Date of Completion

Spring 5-14-2020

Thesis Advisor(s)

Ying Zhou

Honors Major



Accounting | Fashion Business | Sustainability


This paper examines the nature of corporate social responsibility (CSR), with a focus on corporations within the fashion industry. First, I discuss the evolution of CSR from its origin in the 1930s until present day, along with global trends that have risen in respect to emerging economies, industry sectors, and regulatory change. Then, I summarize factors that motivate firms to prepare and provide CSR reports – i.e., the determinants of voluntary disclosure of CSR reports. In addition, I discuss to what extent these reports are regulated and assured across the globe, as an increasing number of corporations participate in disclosing CSR activity, as well as the important role of stakeholder relationships. Lastly, I present several firms within the fashion industry as examples. I analyze their carbon emissions patterns and overall financial performance to see how these firms are making sustainable progress.