In our latest webinar “Sustainable Supply Chain – Oxymoron or Path” (available for on-demand streaming here), we explore what it really means for a brand to achieve sustainability through their supply chain. We are joined by George Lawrie, VP & Principal Analyst at Forrester, Erik Ulin, VP of Retail Partnerships at NuORDER, and Chris Manley, Founder & CEO at Surfside Supply Company as they take a look at the environmentally-minded strategies brands can implement to help shape their own sustainable supply chains from start to finish.
Here are a few thoughts mentioned on achieving sustainability today:
Making Sustainable Values An Integrated Part of Your Business
What does this mean? Make values a part of your brand’s core ethos.
These values should stand as the basis for the policies you make, which motivate your employee’s roles in the company and ultimately in reaching the customer. Merely talking about being sustainable doesn’t actually make your brand sustainable and it doesn’t take much for customers to pick up on sustainability as a pitch.
Instead, integrating sustainability-minded principles from the beginning is the best way to convey that your brand is serious about making a difference.
The Dangers of Fast Fashion
Here’s a startling fact: 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are a result of the fashion industry. This gives brands a responsibility to sustainably source and produce their products. A large amount of waste is generated due to an abundance of inventory that falls short of consumer demand most of the time.
Most of all, it is a type of production that occurs without much reflection on current events, which ultimately results in unpurchased merchandise. By instead shifting production focus to being more agile and timely, they can maximize profit margins and reduce unsold inventory.
The Customer Cares and So Should You
With consumers more eco-conscious than ever, brands have taken note of their customer’s demands by making sustainability a key area of focus.
Customers are willing to pay more for products that are environmentally friendly, and likewise, they are also paying more attention to which brands are trying to utilize sustainability as a marketing strategy. Research from Forrester found that 29% of consumers are paying more for eco-friendly products, a 4% increase from the previous year. For the under 25s segment, that value increases even more to 41%, a 9% increase from the previous year.
This isn’t a passing trend for consumers, it’s a value they hold close when making purchases, and something to thoughtfully orient your brand messaging and supply sourcing around.
Tech Tools to Optimize Your Supply Chain
Digital technology can play a significant role in optimizing the productivity and eco-friendliness of your supply chain, making it a win-win for everyone involved. The outcome of your tech stack should ultimately result in the ability to “ anticipate demand, align supply, and reduce latency”.
These tools are not only budget-friendly but also help with improving lead times while also cultivating sustainable business practices by reducing things like paper waste, time spent maintaining inventory counts, and improving collaboration with business partners.
For more information on how your brand can achieve a sustainable supply chain through sourcing, education, and technology, be sure to watch the full webinar here.