Could a seal ban aid these environmentally friendly apparel companies?

By Ben Levine for Kapitall.

Back in 2009, the European Union (EU) imposed a ban on imports of seal products—mainly pelts, meat and blubber—over concerns about the questionable manner in which various countries’ sealing industries have hunted and killed our furry friends over the years. 

Not surprisingly, Canada, one of the most visible representatives in the global seal trade (think back to those mustachioed French trappers we learned about in grade school), took some issue with this decision. According to their Department of Fisheries and Oceans, our northern neighbor harvested some 218,000 harp seals in 2008.

In response to the EU’s decision, Canada submitted an appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO), claiming the EU’s sanctions were in violation of international law. After public hearings this past March, the WTO upheld the ban this May. 

In their decision, the WTO agreed with Canada’s claim that the EU’s ban on imports of seal products constituted a violation of international law—but also that the ban should still remain in place—a major precedent shift. 

The decision joins others made in the wake of Bangladesh’s 2013 Savar building collapse that aimed at greater accountability within the garment industry, with many companies outsourcing production to regions outside the Western public eye. Much of this desire, as demonstrated by the WTO’s decision, concerns the environmental impact of these operations.

Interested in clothing companies that are already environmentally friendly? In the event that this precedent shift encourages new regulations regarding corporate social responsibility and stewardship, we decided to look for companies that were already earning high marks on their behavior.

To do that we compiled a list of companies that have high environmental ratings using information from one of our partners,, which gathers data about corporate responsibility.

Click on the interactive chart to view data over time. 


1. American Apparel, Inc. ( APP, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Engages in the manufacture, distribution, and retail of fashion basic apparel for women, men, children, and babies. Market cap at $77.25M, most recent closing price at $0.70.

Environmental rating on CSRHub: 76/100 vs an industry average of 54/100. 

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