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SUPPLY CHAINS AND CIRCULARITY WITHIN THE FASHION INDUSTRY: STAIY’S WEBINAR EDITION

On the 28th of September 2021, Staiy got together with some of the brightest minds to discuss sustainable supply chains and circularity within the fashion industry. Through an intimate discussion with guests from all industries, we were able to see how far we have come, and where to go from here. 

Words By Ella van Niekerk

19/10/2021

Staiy’s third official webinar brought attention to one of its five pillars, supply chains. Having a sustainable supply chain can be considered one of the most complex aspects for brands, and because of this, it is a topic worth talking about. In fact, we brought in the best of the best with regard to the sustainability and circularity of supply chains and all that it entails.

The guests consisted of four experienced, and divergent profiles, all of whom had one main thing in common – they are committed to changing the way we run our worldwide logistics for the better.

Daniel Schmitt

To start with, we had Daniel Schmitt, the product manager of Veja. Veja has been producing sneakers in a different way since 2005. Considered one of the most sustainable brands worldwide, Veja has always been committed to ethical and sustainable production throughout the entire process. Daniel has been responsible for the implementation of a circular strategy within Veja. Engaging in a circular economy in the footwear industry by managing the launches of reuse and recycling programs, Daniel specializes in project management, the circular economy, and data analysis.

Nick Wyss

Nick Wyss from Expeditors was another one of our guests. Expeditors is a Fortune 500 service-based logistics company that generates highly optimized and customized supply chain solutions in a global network of over 100 countries worldwide. Nick is particularly passionate about people and customers with a high ethical focus. He specializes in global account management, logistics, and freight management. Nick is currently heading up an external education platform, taking time to speak with young professionals and students about the possibilities and executions of sustainable supply chains. With extensive experience in international logistics, Nick was able to offer incredible perspectives about supply chains on the largest scales possible.

Carmen Jenny

Carmen Jenny, the co-founder of a clothing rental app and sustainability influencer was also there to offer her first-hand thoughts of circularity within supply chains. ClothesFriends is an application that allows people to rent fashion as opposed to buying clothes. This, along with her almost 17 thousand followers, has allowed her to become an advocate for sustainability and use fashion as a voice. Carmen engages with circularity by making people part of the change. She specializes in fashion and media and is an influential activist for the younger generations.

Alessandro Nora

Last but not least, Alessandro Nora, the co-founder of Staiy, also attended the webinar as a guest, offering his first-hand experience on multi-brand companies and instilling sustainability into the direct and indirect logistics of other brands. Staiy is always looking for ways to become more sustainable and to encourage and assist other brands in doing the same. Alessandro is currently running the sustainability aspects of Staiy, as well as the assessment of brands to determine their sustainability when it comes to all of Staiy’s five pillars. He has worked closely with a number of sustainable brands and start-ups and has developed evaluations and assessments within Staiy to test a brands’ sustainability as well as enable them to become more sustainable.

The webinar focused on a number of interesting topics and sectors surrounding supply chains, one of them being the best way for brands and companies to teach consumers about the importance of sustainable supply chains without using too much, overbearing information. Daniel’s perspective on how important communication is when it comes to consumer relations was inspiring. Indeed, he spoke about how, at Veja, being ethical and sustainable within every practice is what they consider to be common sense and they use this philosophy within their communications as well. “We use transparency as a business driver to communicate everything we do and we use common sense [to do it].”

The topic surrounding CO2 emissions within supply chains is an issue that had to be brought up and discussed. Luckily, we had Nick and his experienced standpoint to educate us on this matter. Nick spoke about the constant challenge of ensuring the improvement and reduction of these emissions. He offered insight into the importance of preparation over precaution, and stated that anything to do with the reduction of these emissions, “very much has to be a joint approach by everyone.” Nick evoked the two things that need to be done in order for this to happen, which are driving global standards for the carbon industry and speeding up the process of finding sustainable alternatives, as he believes that these can have a significant benefit.

Alessandro offered his insight into creating standards for other brands and ensuring sustainability within supply chains and logistics in an indirect format. He spoke about how the most important aspect of this is knowing the relationship between the brand and its suppliers. Alessandro believes that “the number one problem in the fashion industry is that it is not transparent enough, and brands struggle to track 100% of their products.” This aspect is how Staiy ensures the sustainability of its brands’ supply chains and continues to track the relationships between brands and suppliers in order to attain as much transparency as possible.

Communication is key, that is why Carmen’s point of view on how to keep the younger generations engaged and ensure that the commitment to sustainability and circularity doesn’t fade away was enlightening. She talked about how “the key to accelerating [sustainability] is to show consumers that they really have an impact and enable people to do and join in [on having an impact].” She spoke about the power of education within communication and showed that sustainability is fun and that people can still enjoy fashion as it is, which is one of the most important aspects.

The four guests have provided incredible insights on this topic and have shown the way to how we, as consumers, have power within all aspects of sustainability and how we can control this movement through transparency, communication, and education. The webinar is definitely on our recommended list! If you missed the live version or have not seen it yet, you can find it on our LinkedIn and Youtube accounts. It is not to be missed, trust us!