Think about sustainability and the first words that come to mind might be “green”, “eco-friendly” and “energy-efficient”. All these words have one thing in common: the environment. But the truth is sustainability is a much broader subject than some may think.
This includes the need to have sustainable and ethical supply chains as well as considering the ongoing impact of climate change on day-to-day lives created by the consumer products we buy. There is now a tangible momentum gathering pace to encourage consumers to stop and consider where the products they buy are coming from and how they were made and the people who made them. This will undoubtedly continue to drive changes in demand and trends as well as cost.
The subject of ‘sustainability’ is now a hot topic, particularly in the clothing industry and the need for companies to demonstrate they have a sustainable trading policy and a future-proof plan in place is vital.
The sustainability market is expected to grow from $6.35 billion to $8.25 billion in 2023. Rising conscious consumerism is driving this growth – 83% of consumers want to see brands acting sustainably.
Many of our customers are increasingly asking about the sustainability credentials of our supply chain. As a company, we attach great importance to ensuring that our business can demonstrate we also share the same values as consumers. We have already taken considerable steps to offset our carbon footprint and environmental impact with the introduction of biodegradable bags for all new garment production. Additionally, we have funded restoration projects in both Tanzania and the UK, planting over 400,000 trees over the past five years. However, activities form only part of our plans to trade ethically, and sustainably whilst taking positive action against climate change /wastage.
Sustainability covers a wide variety of topics, it’s not just about the products we make and buy but is also about our production and sourcing, through to delivery in the UK. As a company, we are looking at how we and our suppliers can mitigate our impact -both ethically and environmentally. To make this effective it’s important we have a credible plan in place to enable both customers and suppliers alike to recognise we are progressive in this regard.
The first phase of work we have commissioned relates to:
C.S.R – Corporate and Social Responsibility – we are undertaking an extensive review of all our suppliers in China in the first instance to ensure they follow a strict code of working practices, these will be done in conjunction with an independent 3rd party inspection/auditing company which will add credibility to our actions and claims, this will also include a review of factory facilities to ensure they are doing all they can to reduce their carbon footprint and unnecessary wastage.
Following this, we will implement phase 2, which will be looking at individual products and how we ensure they are meeting environmental needs.
Sustainability is an ongoing process, not just a momentary ‘box ticking’ exercise. We believe that by putting measures in place now we will be in a strong position to build a sustainable business for the future.