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Retailers and brands continue the quest towards sustainability

October 19, 2016
Posted by adjuno

Sustainability and CSR Solutions

On 4th and 5th October Adjuno attended this years ‘Textile Exchange’ Event in Hamburg, where industry experts from around the world gathered to share progress, knowledge and best practice.  The event focused on how to accelerate the growth of preferred fibres and materials in the retail and consumer products industries in the quest for more sustainable practices in the industry.

A variety of topics were discussed in what was one of the most engaging conferences we have attended, where the more formal theatre style conference was side-lined instead for more participatory breakout sessions.

Below is a snapshot of some of the key focus topics and case studies covered:

  • Sustainable Sourcing
  • Supply Chain Mapping
  • Animal Welfare
  • The Circular Economy and the Environment
  • Responsible Africa

Speakers were mostly from global companies of which some included; Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, G-Star, Microsoft, Otto Group and various members of the Textile Exchange Organisation. Delegates covered a broad spectrum of organisations from global retailers and their suppliers to campaigners and sustainability consultancies. Case studies and story telling put evidential ‘meat on the bones’ as to the real complexities of the fashion industry and the supply chain as a whole, along with the challenges and opportunities associated.

The main challenge, echoed throughout the conference was loud and clear; the individuals in attendance represented those leaders and organisations already convinced that a broader approach to sustainability is needed, and that the responsibility of any business goes well beyond the processes it directly controls…

…But, how do we convince a wider range of businesses and their consumers that investment in sustainability, and paying a little bit more for products that are produced responsibly, is in essence, the best deal?

There is no doubting that these supply chain challenges are extremely complex issues. Nevertheless, with the help of modern technology, greater clarity on standards and certifications, and indeed legislation that levels the playing field, there was clear optimism; these complexities can be, and will be addressed by more and more businesses as consumer awareness continues to propagate.

We believe that Adjuno are positioned perfectly to help in a number of key areas deliberated, one of which being the management and visibility of required certificates used to monitor approved suppliers and farmers to the retail industry. We already provide visibility and audit management solutions for a number of upstream supply chain processes, including ethical trade and raw material compliance for leading retailers. We know what best practice looks like and have experience and out-of-the-box tools that can easily be extended to new areas.

This event confirmed for us, that momentum is increasing to accelerate the quest toward improved sustainability and push it to the top of Executive Board agendas. Especially with many organisations now adopting the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ (TBL) accounting framework which evaluates their performance against social, environmental and financial factors in order to measure broader business goals. Moreover, the level of open, collaborative thinking and problem solving demonstrated at the Textile Exchange event shows that there is plenty of oil to wheel the journey.

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