Sustainability in retail

This is a hot topic that is not going away. You might be beginning your sustainability journey because your customers are increasingly insisting on understanding the green credentials of your products and their sourcing. Or maybe you are further along the path and considering innovative and profitable ways to challenge traditional business models with circular fashion approaches.  Wherever you are will need a modern technology foundation to deliver access and manage data across your entire supply chain.


Sustainability is a journey - technology is the enabler

Improving your standing from environmental and social responsibility measure is a journey. It requires effort across several key areas –  use of regenerative materials, pollution reduction, reduced water usage, protection of workers, and waste minimisation – across your supply chain.

The journey is an ongoing, challenging one and without question you need to get the technology right.

Cloud based technical foundation that gives visibility outside your four walls

The first step is to ensure that you have the right technical foundation to handle the vast amount of data that gives you true visibility across the production supply chain. You need to see not only data from your own business systems, but also those of your suppliers, their suppliers, transport networks and supply chain metrics such as carbon footprint, water usage, energy etc … Then you need to be able to provide this information to your customers. This requires a platform that is cloud based and with open connection to all those “data lakes”.

Sub-sub-sub sourcing

The design of sustainable products should ensure that you can validate the credentials of not only the fabrics, but the materials, such as yarns and dyes that are used for the fabrics. Your designers should have access to technology that supports this.

Carve pathways of economic growth

Whilst a move to sustainable practices – in particular “circular fashion” does require operational transformation , it holds the potential for significant commercial payback. Their are savings from resources not being wasted, and opportunities for creating income streams in new ways – servicing, re-selling, and renting. Your technology should support evolving business models like repair, reuse, rent, and circularity.

Data flow and collaboration across the end-to-end supply chain

A modern retail technology ecosystem is a cloud-based platform of multiple “services” and data sources which are harmoniously and continuously connected so your business and your customers are dealing with real-time, accurate information, and which gives you the ability to easily evolve and adopt new sustainable practices that are both profitable and do right by the planet.

Read more: Implementing circular fashion for cotton to consumer