Karin Ekberg – Founder and CEO of Leadership & Sustainability – was interviewed by the B2B-Textile-and-Apparel-Platform fibre2fashion.com. The interview was originally published at their homepage on 20th April 2017.
Q: Please tell us about your vision of sustainability in the textiles and fashion sector, and how you plan to achieve it. What are the current sustainability trends in the textiles and fashion sector? You provide solutions over the entire value chain and supply chain networks. Please elaborate on the solutions and practices. Sustainable leaders play a crucial role in promoting sustainability. What are the challenges faced by the leaders?
You promote firms to adopt sustainable business models. How beneficial is this model? What would be the top five critical steps you would recommend to a mid-scale enterprise to adopt to ensure sustainability? What cost would these steps entail?
- Environmental management in the supply chain.
- Chemical management is a new trend as brands and retailers realise that they need a holistic, proactive approach instead of just relying on RSL and product testing.
- Product environmental footprint (PEF) becomes increasingly interesting as sector-specific rules, different approaches for verification and communication methods for notifying consumers and stakeholders on LCA performance are created.
- Circular economy focuses on re-and upcycling in order to close the loop and offers potentials for cost savings.
- Microfibres have received increased attention due to the pollution of the sea. It is a great challenge for the textile sector to find a solution to that problem as the use of synthetic fibres is so widespread.
- Risk minimisation: Dealing with sustainability aspects in advance reduces the risk of negative surprises that cause compensation payments and damage your reputation.
- Compliance: Misleading environmental claims and the violation of existing law result in high penalties.
- Innovation and market development: Sustainability leaders are the first selling products to the growing environmental niche and shape the markets of the future.
- Cost savings can be realised through improvements in various areas such as in waste management, packaging and energy consumption. This is the easy way to increase your profits.
- Integrated operations: By knowing their supply chain and production processes sustainable leaders can reduce quality issues and delays while increasing productivity which has a positive effect on their profits.
- Brand and reputation enhancement: A sustainable leader will attract better and motivated employees and loyal customers to ensure a bright future for the company. Furthermore, the company will be in a position to explore business advantages and increase its market share.
- Set tentative goals and align them;
- Think of how to reach the goals, which programmes you could establish;
- Create your business case and find out about the impacts and costs;
- Test your total strategy and your business case;
- Go for it or make any necessary adjustments to your strategy.
To find out more about this topic, please read our article “The Sustainability Vision for the Textile & Fashion Sector”