Asos appoints Anna Maria Rugarli as chair of ESG Committee

‘Wealth of ESG experience’: Asos appoints Anna Maria Rugarli as ESG Committee chair

Online fashion pureplay Asos has appointed Anna Maria Rugarli as non-executive director and chair of the company’s ESG Committee.

Rugarli is viewed by the business as “a sustainability and CSR expert”, bringing with her more than 20 years of experience working in this space through roles with companies such as Nike and VF Corporation.

In that time, Rugarli has specialised in creating innovative ways to address environmental and social challenges faced by the fashion industry, leading these strategies from concept to implementation and roll-out. She is currently a board member at Prada Group and Japan Tobacco International, and she officially began her job with Asos yesterday (26 June).

Jørgen Lindemann, Asos chairman, welcomed Rugarli to the online retailer, saying: “Anna Maria joins us with a wealth of ESG experience from some of the biggest brands in global apparel.

“The board will greatly benefit from her expertise and we look forward to working closely with her.”

Asos’s ESG Committee comprises three other industry heavyweights. Alongside Rugarli are ex-Amazon exec, Wei Gao, who became a non-executive director of the fashion retailer in February, former Espirit CEO and Inditex director, Jose Manuel Martínez Gutiérrez, and Asos co-founder Nick Robertson.

The ESG Committee’s principal responsibilities are to provide oversight to the Asos plc board in relation to the group’s ESG strategy and activities. That entails defining the ESG strategy in the first place, reviewing practices and initiatives, and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, including corporate governance principles and industry standards.

As a purveyor of fast fashion, it would certainly be contradictory to call Asos a green retailer – every retail business leaves a footprint, and some more so than others. But like many in the industry, Asos is finding new ways of operating that promise to be kinder to the planet – much of the work was led by ex-responsible sourcing director, Simon Platts, who left the business after ten years’ service in May.

That was the same month Asos launched a rental collection on Hirestreet, showing its move to think more circularly as a business. At launch, there were more than 180 women’s occasionwear outfits available on the platform, including wedding-guest, bridal, and bridesmaid dresses.

Jag Weatherley, corporate transformation director at Asos, said at the time: “Clothing rental is a growing market offering exciting commercial potential while supporting our goal to be more circular.”

[Image credit: Asos]

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