Just like lies, poor sustainability practices have a have a habit of coming back to haunt you.
Following allegations of modern slavery, Boohoo's share price halved as investors jumped ship and wholesale partners such as Next and ASOS delisted their products.
It is not the first time (nor will it be the last) that sustainability issues hit a company's share price. Whether it is an oil spill or tinkering with emissions data, there's increasing evidence that poor sustainability practices do not pay off, scandals often tend to dampen share prices well beyond the immediate blow up as investors' trust takes time to rebuild.
Understanding global sustainability trends at a macro level and the micro ESG issues a company face is essential not just to manage risk, but to identify opportunities. For example, changes in consumers value sets post crisis may impact individual stocks.
It could also pay off to be well positioned for the EU's Green Deal through exposure to green companies. The key is to not blindly follow ESG scores but have dedicated ESG analysts that can actively look past noise and identify investment relevant information.
Just like the emperor who had no clothes, looking under the bonnet of Boohoo's success may have revealed a sea of red flags.
ESG issues do not always materialise as sustainability issues take time to surface. Boohoo's test and repeat business model for example appealed globally to young fast fashion consumers and they've shown their capabilities by successfully integrating and scaling the likes of PrettyLittleThing, Nasty Gal and Karen Millen.
Similarly, other criticised sectors have delivered strong returns. Until recently, one of the most successful stockmarket companies in the UK has been British American Tobacco.
And while consumers care about sustainability, actions speak louder than words. Historic supply chain exposés, like the BBC Panorama programmes on Primark, have not led to a noticeable impact on brand popularity or sales.
Arguably with ESG awareness much more heightened today, perhaps consumers will react to the allegations this time, and if not, investor pressure will be the catalyst for change.
As part of the collaborative initiative "Find it, Fix it, Prevent it", launched last year by CCLA, we are calling on companies to tackle modern slavery so that there are no human cost to low-cost frocks.
Marte Borhaug is global head of sustainable outcomes at Aviva Investors
• Looking beyond ESG scores and target players with positive ESG momentum and a strong philosophy of sustainability
• Trends towards increasing sustainability awareness and importance appear to have accelerated during the Covid-19 crisis
• ESG risks do not always materialise and corporate failures have not led to changing consumer behaviours
• Poor lowly valued underperforming companies on ESG metrics may transition to better practices over time