It does not need me to say this - but the coronavirus has impacted us all around the world personally and economically. Every level of the supply chain in the fashion industry is feeling the downturn in business - some to zero. I have been putting my brain to work looking for a way to seize opportunity from the adversity and to keep us going until the crisis passes and we can build up.
I flag this for your comments and buy-in:
Let's use the downturn for small businesses to build up our brand values in the drive for a sustainable fashion industry and circular economy.
every business that does not have a Sustainability Policy - develop a policy that is aligned with your products or services
build into the sustainability policy alignment with relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals.
set a Goal to contribute to attainment of that goal by a determined date
identify aligned buyers and sellers in the supply chain who can help you meet that Goal
look for ways to partner so that when the businesses pick up your business is already primed
identify ways that international bodies tasked with achieving a sustainable future can support small businesses during the covid-19 crisis to achieve sustainability goals
Using James&Co as an example:
this is our Sustainability Policy
as a wholesaler of sustainable and vegan products, we are aligned with SDG 12 - responsible consumption and production
this is our Goal to help contribute to attaining that SDG by 2030 (and help grow the James&Co business of course!
Goals By end 2020, partner with 5 retailers who have the Goal to source responsibly to substitute James&Co sustainable vegan leather outerwear & accessories for other brands in toxic traditional vegan leather.
we are reaching out to retailers who have goals in their Sustainability Policies to source responsibly by identified dates. We've published a book explaining about the need to change from toxic to sustainable vegan leather.
And we've released a video.
as factories who make the sustainable vegan fabric and who tailor our products are still closed we are still grappling with how to address these issues:
- how can we influence likely retailers to be ready to stock our sustainable products when the upturn starts?
- how can there be a cash flow from them to us, and from their customers to them, until the upturn starts?
- can Sustainability-focussed organisations and the companies that support them identify ways to support us contributing?
In particular, a call-out to these organisations:
United Nations Global Compact - the organisation created to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. HQ in New York with local bodies. This is the Australian Global Compact.
World Business Council For Sustainable Development - global organisation with the mission to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world and to help make more sustainable businesses more successful.
UN Alliance For Sustainable Fashion - initiative of United Nations agencies and allied organizations designed to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals through coordinated action in the fashion sector. .The scope of the Alliance’s work extends from the production of raw materials and the manufacturing of garments, accessories and footwear, to their distribution, consumption, and disposal.
These organisations have memberships of large companies. Could they help with projects of grants to small business on the sustainability track? Comments please and we'll progress.