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Empowering Sustainable Fashion: How you can afford and expedite decarbonisation efforts

There’s a particular sense of urgency for fashion to cut emissions as the countries such as Bangladesh, China, India, and Vietnam (key players in making clothes) hit hardest by climate change. These countries, where severe weather often strikes, export about $65 billion worth of apparel.

It’s possible to speed up emissions reduction without harming the fashion industry. In fact, it could be cheaper than what fashion leaders expect. However, amidst the challenges given below, most companies tend to fall behind.

The six challenges brands will need to overcome:

  1. Keeping sustainability a core priority even when times are tough
    1. When resources are limited and executives prioritize cost-cutting, sustainability efforts can be sidelined. However, embracing a customer-centric approach reveals that the long-term benefits, such as increased sales and brand loyalty, are substantial although challenging to quantify directly.
  2. Putting sustainability at the heart of the business
    1. For sustainability initiatives to succeed, it needs to penetrate into every aspect of the business model, spanning design, sourcing, marketing, and retail operations. These changes can be challenging as they demand teams to embrace new practices and foster greater collaboration across departments.
  3. Charting a decarbonization path is complex
    1. It’s not a straightforward path. Also you need deep insights into a brand’s supplier footprint across tiers to find an optimal path at a minimal cost.
  4. The fashion industry needs more supply chain transparency
    1. It should be a collective effort and having to rely on secondary data can be tricky.
  5. Implementation is consistently underestimated
    1. Recognising the need for significant emissions reductions is just the first step. The real challenge for fashion businesses lies in putting these changes into action.
  6. The supplier landscape is fragmented
    1. In the fashion industry, thousands of suppliers exist, but only a handful have the capacity and financial means to invest in sustainable practices. This disparity arises because much of the costs and value creation in fashion stem from eco-friendly activities like design and marketing, whereas emissions primarily originate from few specific processes like raw material production, transportation, and wet processing.

Apart from the environmental advantages of reducing carbon emissions, sustainability can greatly enhance a fashion brand’s reputation & equity, attracting more consumers to support it.

Six actions that can help accelerate decarbonization in fashion

  1. Create commercial value from your sustainability strides
  2. Focus on the big two: Material transition and tier-two-supplier energy transition
  3. Build a carefully prioritized, robust road map
  4. Get granular on data
  5. Boost execution and transformation management
  6. Make collaborations action oriented

Bottom line, systematic improvements in the supply chains to will help reach decarbonization targets. Click the link below to read more.

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