1. Transparent business practices
Several retailers are publishing supplier lists e.g. H &M., Patagonia, Nike. A “welcome start but still a lot more that can be done”. She refered to Honest , a company run by Bruno Pieters that markets itself on being “100% transparent in its sourcing”. Two pieces of software are available on the market, Indigenous (a web technology to go “behind the scene”) and Sourcemap an open source, “crowd sourced” technology developed by MIT the first case of social networking used for supply chain management and helps companies to respond to supply chain risk.
Indigenous: web tool to shed light on fashion supply chains
2. Take-back schemes
This is currently led in the market by H & M who give consumers money when they bring back old clothes. They are swopping 3.6 m items or 20 jumbos full of clothes a year. Other schemes from Patagonia, Puma, North Face.
3. Collaborative consumption
4. Commitments to detoxing
Environmental campaigns e.g. Detox Fashion are having an influence over brands in terms of changing their business strategy to zero discharge of chemicals e.g. Adidas, Nike and Benetton.
5. Industry-NGO collaboration
Brands are collaborating with NGOs to address social and environmental issues for example, Timberland and Traidcraft; Topshop and Reclaim to Wear
Emerging market growth
Sarah highlighted the growing market for ethical fashion products in terms of its size and breath. She refered to an “eco fashion week” in Russia, emerging brands in Brazil (Osklen) Japan (Neemic) and New Zealand (Kowtow) and the company Soco in Kenya. She noted high levels of investment by China in Ethiopia to manufacture shoes.