London, England – In the final episode of Retail Reborn, a new BoF podcast series brought to you by Brookfield Properties, Doug Stephens spoke with industry experts to map how the future retail ecosystem can be sustainable.
“The situation is complex and moving fast,” said Doug Stephens, founder of Retail Prophet, about the risks posed by climate change. “To be compatible with global climate goals, [fashion] the industry as a whole needs to drastically reduce its emissions and reduce the waste it generates. Can Covid-19 prove to be the kind of catalyst the retail industry needs to break away from the traditional linear model for production and distribution? “
Sustainable design expert William McDonough says the idea of reducing losses needs to be rethought diametrically. “First, get rid of the concept of waste because in nature there is no such thing as garbage,” said McDonough. “In Cradle to cradle, We see things as food for next use. “
“We don’t want to be less bad – we want to be better,” added McDonough. “So, the question becomes, how can we take these ingredients and use them over and over again in beneficial and beneficial ways. Many generations? It’s a celebration of abundance rather than lamenting the boundaries.”
For Ilka Jordan, founder and CEO at Jordan Alliance Group Inc. – a management consulting firm focused on fashion supply chain sustainability – moving from a linear model to a more circular model presents an opportunity for the industry to serve the planet and maintain organizational commitment.
“After Covid, [we’re seeing] slower fashion, helps [retailers] achieve their sustainability goals because, not only take the time to develop durable fabrics or seek safer materials – they have the time to do so. “Predictive analysis is widely used today, and it will increase sales and margins by developing and selecting the right product at the right price based on customer voice and applied analysis,” said Jordan.
But how do you convince the company to keep using that time? It’s a paradigm shift, says McDonough, that begins with leadership beliefs about what constitutes success.
“I think it’s time not to think about moonlight [but rather] thinking about an earth. Let’s get back to earth here. We are part of the biosphere, part of the land, and we need humility to be grounded. So, let’s have the same ambition as we have to go to the moon, but we use it to go home, “he concluded.
To discover how the rebirth of retail will impact your business and learn critical actionable insights into the challenges and opportunities that the new retail ecosystem will bring, customer to the series here.
William McDonough is a co-author Cradle to cradle, a treatise on sustainability in design. McDonough has designed pioneering models of sustainable design, including the Ford Rouge truck factory in Dearborn, Michigan; The Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College; and NASA’s “space station on Earth” Sustainability Base.
Ilka Jordan is the founder and CEO of Jordan Alliance Group Inc (JAG), a minority-owned and women-led management consulting firm at the forefront of fashion supply chain circularity. Jordan has more than twenty years of experience in digitizing supply chain operations at large and medium-sized retailers, and holds degrees from American InterContinental University (AIU) and Fashion Technology Institute (SUITABLE).
Sanjeev Bahl is the founder and chief executive of Vietnam-based Saitex, the only certified large-scale denim producer of B Corp, which counts Everlane, Madewell, Target, and G-Star Raw among its clients. Its popularity with major US brands can be demonstrated by the sustainable practices that underlie the manufacturing process. In 2019, the Saitex plant was a no-discharge facility, recycling 98 percent of its water and evaporating the other two percent.
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