Sustainability goes beyond green packaging
There is no question about sustainability being a major topic in the world right now, the fashion industry included. However most of the strategies approached, which make brands call themselves sustainable are incorrectly narrowed in the product and its packaging process. Beyond green products and packaging, what should be added to a sustainable strategy?
Death to Fashion, Fernando Jiménez Fierro, 2021
Do not take this wrong, green products are crucial and it is part of being sustainable. However a product with positive impact or less impact in the environment is not all what should matters.
Here three characteristics, among many others, that should be discussed and include in a sustainable strategy.
1. Sustainability is also about social ethics
Sustainability is not only about the environment impact but about its impact on society, on people. A sustainable strategy oversees and measures the impact on all the company, brand and product impact on its stakeholders. Hence, a sustainable strategy is also aware and pursue a positive impact on its employees, the people behind their suppliers, the shareholders, the families around any person involved int he company, communities around the office and factories, etc.
In a few words, sustainability is not a tactic of planting trees, using less paper in the office and using recycled packaging. Sustainability should (if not must) act for ethical practices towards the wellbeing of people.
2. Sustainability is also about innovation
One of the approaches to be more sustainable is embracing more pre-industrial, handcraft and autochthonous techniques and processes. Yet, sustainability is also about development and this can come through investing in innovative technology and models as long as sustainability is an outcome in all the process.
We can go from easy technological approaches such as applying websites with less videos and photos to reduce the environment impact, and it can go all the way into innovative textiles or recycling machinery.
3. Sustainability is about new business models
If sustainability is a desired outcome, new business models should be approached. Among other thoughts and concerns we should bring to our brainstorming to make our business, products and brands more sustainable, we can think about: how can we use add re-using, recycling and upcycling before manufacturing? How can we help costumers to embrace a circular model before buying? How can we reduce the impact in our supply chain and distribution? Which new values and practices within the company’s culture will bring sustainability and wellbeing as a continous output and outcome? How can we re-design our product to make it easier to re-use, recycle and upcycle?
In a few words, sustainability is beyond being ‘green’. Green is all right, but sustainability is a more holistic benefit for all.