It’s summertime technically!
It might not feel like a normal summer, but we’re still going to enjoy some beach reading, even if we’re sitting in our backyards or balconies. Make sure to check out this Sustainability-focused Reading List from Whitney Bauck at Fashionista. Bauck asked a number of industry leaders about their sustainability reading recommendations and the choices are enough to make anyone feel ambitious.
Note: We loved that Bauck mentioned the book Winners Take All as having influenced how she thinks about sustainability. It’s about the much broader topic of change-making and philanthropy but has had the exact same effect for us.
There a number of pieces in this week’s edition worth checking out, including:
- A Retail Dive summary of the major BCG + Higg report on fashion’s post-COVID sustainable future
- A thought-provoking look from Vogue Business on rethinking the definition of “growth”
- A very neat, interactive tool from Farfetch that demonstrates the carbon footprint from various materials. For example, did you know that the carbon footprint of 1 kg of wool equals 184 km driven in a car?
We hope everyone is able to enjoy their summer a bit. As always, please reply with any new projects, companies, or articles on the intersection of sustainability and fashion!
Fashion’s post-growth future (Vogue Business)
As reported by Vogue Business, the goals set by the United Nations Environment Program and the 2030 Agenda won’t be feasible with the current pace of fashion production and consumption. However, it is not a question of creating more sustainable products or reducing the number of collections in the year. The whole system is broken, based on the old way of running the business and aiming for bigger returns. We need to rethink the whole definition of “growth”:
In order to fix the problem, economists say that instead of “green growth”, which argues for green technologies and efficiencies to reduce global emissions with a goal of decoupling them from increased economic activity, the industry must focus on “post-growth”, which rethinks levels of consumption and production.
Does slow fashion provide an answer for creating a sustainable fashion industry? Should businesses think “smaller”? Does fashion equals shopping for new clothes or the relationship between apparel production and its consumption can be redefined and new business models will be created? One thing is certain: the fashion industry has to change, from both the supply and demand side.
According to Jing Daily, given China’s technological development and growing consumer market, it could become one of the key players in the field of sustainability by developing digital infrastructures, leveraging its access to an enormous amount of data, building, and supporting environment-driven communities.
Key takeaway: a company can set itself apart from the competition by leveraging technological innovation. The differentiation based on sustainability and technology will allow the company to be in tune with the demands of post-COVID-19 consumers.
Current Events Have Made Fashion Transparency Consumers’ Top Demand (Sourcing Journal)
“Coronavirus means the end of greenwashing and the end of claims which you cannot fulfill. And everybody who’s in the sustainability business in the future needs to prove every day with all their actions that they are sustainable, and the rest will disappear.”
Brand transparency will shape the future of fashion. As consumers become more educated about sustainability, they will expect more transparency and ethical practices from fashion companies. The companies will have to earn the trust of their customers, build their reputation, and focus on long-term value creation.
Farfetch launches consumer fashion footprint tool (Fashion United)
This week Farfetch has introduced a fashion footprint tool on its website, which allows consumers to consider the environmental impact of the materials used for their clothing, inform on available renewable materials options and drive more conscious pre-owned fashion purchases.
Did you know that the carbon footprint of 1 kg of wool equals 184 km driven in a car, while the water footprint of 1 kg of silk corresponds to 582 bathtubs? (check out Farfetch tool linked here)
As a part of the retailer’s Positively Farfetch sustainability effort launched last year, the company also released the report in partnership with QSA, ICARO, London Waste, and Recycling Board on secondhand fashion shopping habits in the US, UK, and China.
Around the News
Fashion’s most interesting sustainability efforts can also help fight racism – in conjunction with the Juneteenth celebration, we would like to feature this Vogue Business piece on why the company culture should encompass as its core values equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Do brands still care about sustainability amid the pandemic? – last week we’ve featured BCG’s findings on the circular economy and sustainability as the main drivers for growth in post-pandemic business recovery. This week this Retail Dive’s piece shares comments from eight experts on the long-term repercussions of the sustainability commitment.
18 Fashion People Recommend Their Sustainability Must-Reads – check out these book recommendations from fashion sustainability advocates with topics ranging from garment manufacturing and environmentalism to politics and capitalism.
Gucci Launches Off the Grid Sustainable Collection – guilt-free eco-friendly luxury – the Italian fashion house debuted its first collection from Gucci Circular Lines, built around sustainability and circularity.
Apparel and footwear industry proposes green recovery plan for Europe – this Fashion United’s article summarizes seven principles for the development of a circular economy within the textile, apparel, and footwear industry presented by the Policy Hub in its “Proposal for an EU Green Recovery Plan in the Textile, Apparel, and Footwear Industry”
Each week we will cover one term that defines sustainability in the fashion industry – from A to Z.
Animal Welfare – refers to the treatment of animals involved in the fashion supply chain. The demands and profitability of the trade are reflected in the existence of large-scale factory farming and severe mistreatment and cruel handling practices of animals across the fur, leather, exotic leather, down feather, mohair, angora, silk, and wool industries. It is a critical concern in countries with insufficient animal welfare legislation.
Amid protests, can the fur industry survive and be sustainable? – with the introduction of FurMark program and WelFur certification, the European fur industry is tackling the issues of animal welfare, transparency, and traceability across its fur supply chain. As the faux vs real fur debate continues around the world, the development of the fur industry will also depend on the rise of consumer eco-consciousness in China, one of the largest fur markets.