Fashion brands, regulators, commentators, and consumers all agree – at least in principle – that the near-term future will be defined by a radical rethink of what it means to operate transparently. For the parties downstream, the primary issues will centre around how brands and retailers can be held to account. For the brands themselves, and for their networks of suppliers, attention is quickly turning to how that accountability can be backed by data, rather than remaining reliant on guesswork.
This episode spotlights supply chain transparency in action, featuring Icebreaker – a brand known for creating uncompromising performance garments from natural materials, and for its open-book approach to transparency.
To coincide with the publication of the 2021/22 instalment of Icebreaker’s Transparency Report, our Editor-in-Chief spends this episode talking to Icebreaker’s Senior Manager of Global Materials and Sustainability, Jordi Beneyto-Ferre. Together, they start to unpick ways the fashion industry can make more tangible progress towards its sustainability goals, and both Jordi and Ben share their belief in the importance of measurable action.
This show is sponsored by Coats Digital, which creates solutions that can transform the sustainability equation at both the material and the labour levels. Whether it’s the GSD framework and the GSDCost platform – which are are universally-recognised, scientific methods of quantifying labour operations – or Coats Digital’s brand-new solution, FastReactFabric, which aims to help the fashion industry drastically reduce its fabric waste, the tools exist to help the fashion industry move the needle on sustainability and transparency today.
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Our next episode is scheduled for release soon. In the meantime, you can find key talking points from Episode 5 below.
Key talking points:
We may not all be able to work against the majestic backdrop of New Zealand, as featured in this Icebreaker video highlighting supply chain transparency being put into practice, but as the key discussion points below outline, almost everyone listening to this episode can begin to take more action on transparency and sustainability by:
- Examining where gaps in their multi-tier supply chain visibility exists, and taking realistic steps to address them.
- Listening and responding to consumer demand for durability, quality, and transparency, and prioritising these over volume and disposability – even if it means making drastic changes to existing business models.
- Forging long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with manufacturers and raw material suppliers to set and achieve meaningful targets around pollution, raw material usage, carbon footprint, and more.
- Researching the viability of alternative materials to reduce reliance on synthetics – whether these alternatives come from innovations like biofabrication performed at scale, or methods of mitigating the impact of farming.
- Re-evaluating consumer demand and reducing over-production.
- Pushing forward with circularity initiatives that look beyond the secondary market into into repair, rehoming, and other ways of renewing products without introducing entirely new ones into the market.
- Remind themselves of the urgency and importance of taking action on what is inarguably one of the greatest issues facing people and planet today.
Don’t forget to follow The Interline Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your platform of choice. And visit our sponsor, Coats Digital, to explore their suite of solutions – across labour and materials, PLM, factory capacity planning and more – to discover ways to take action on some of the key issues raised in this episode.
Look for the next episode of The Interline Podcast, “Where Sustainability Really Stands,” later this month.