Abstract Purpose – The aim of the paper is to describe and explain, using a combination of interviews and content analysis, the social and environmental reporting practices of a major garment export organisation within a developing country. Design/methodology/approach – Senior executives from a major organisation in Bangladesh are interviewed to determine the pressures being exerted on them in terms of their social and environmental performance. The perceptions of pressures are then used to explain – via content analysis – changing social and environmental disclosure practices. Findings – The results show that particular stakeholder groups have, since the early 1990s, placed pressure on the Bangladeshi clothing industry in terms of its social performance. This pressure, which is also directly related to the expectations of the global community, in turn drives the industry’s social policies and related disclosure practices. Research limitations/implications – The findings show that, within the context of a developing country, unless we consider the managers’ perceptions about the social and environmental expectations being imposed upon them by powerful stakeholder groups then we will be unable to understand organisational disclosure practices. Originality/value – This paper is the first known paper to interview managers from a large organisation in a developing country about changing stakeholder expectations and then link these changing expectations to annual report disclosures across an extended period of analysis.