One of the hottest headlines of the moment (both literally and figuratively) is climate change and global warming. There’s certainly no longer escaping the fact that we’re in the grip of a very real climate emergency and we all have our part to play in reducing our impact on the planet, whether that’s as an individual, a business, or a community.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to any of the challenges the world now faces and different industries and sectors will have their own climate-related issues to deal with now and well into the future.
Mitigating the risks of climate change is a must, naturally, but it is also becoming increasingly clear that a big part of the solution to the problem is to prioritize adaptation to the changes that are inevitably coming our way, as well.
The good news is that there’s a lot that can be achieved in this regard, particularly from a business perspective. And, in fact, consumers these days are becoming increasingly selective over which brands they do business with, looking out for ethical companies that demonstrate strong corporate responsibility.
Where the fashion industry, in particular, is concerned, it’s especially important for brands in the sector to focus on their carbon footprint, as the environmental impact of fashion is quite astronomical, driven in large part by fast fashion.
Figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that the industry produces ten percent of global CO2 emissions each and every year, as well as using approximately 1.5 trillion liters of water annually. Other concerning issues include the amount of pollution created, as well, ranging from microplastics to chemical waste.
However, recent meetings taking place between fashion industry representatives, brought together by UN Climate Change, revealed a consensus that making a sector-wide concerted effort to become more sustainable would result in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, putting the industry on track to hit the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
So what can fashion brands do to go green? The answer is… a lot! Here are just a couple of ways in which you could boost your eco credentials quite significantly.
By signing this charter, you’re committing to supporting the implementation of its principles, which contain the vision to achieve net-zero emissions for the sector by 2050.
You’ll automatically become part of the climate change solution, uniting and connecting with peers to enhance your capacity to counter climate challenges, share best practices and tools, access valuable experience, engage with expert organizations and be visible as an active contributor to the climate solution.
Before you can start your journey towards sustainable operations across your entire supply chain, you need to gain a deeper understanding of the overall consequences of your products on the lifecycle of the planet, taking into account design, manufacture, supply chain choices, production methods, and so on.
This is where fashion PLM software really comes into its own, simplifying data analysis by making it more visible through the lifecycle of the products, which can then be passed onto stakeholders and consumers to drive transparency.
PLM systems can also be used to help you identify eco-friendly suppliers that can help with raw product materials, as well as accurately track the environmental impact of the finished projects, with a materials library holding all necessary information for decision-making.
In addition, this kind of software can help you focus on vendor management, reviewing everyone from the manufacturer to suppliers and materials. This enables you to approve or disapprove of those that don’t align with your business goals, making informed choices based on the most accurate information available.
Product design is an intricate and complicated process, involving a vast array of different industries, sectors, departments, and people – so it’s essential that a robust system of organization is in place before work begins.
Enter PLM! This software provides all the necessary organization and insights you need into your various projects so you’re better able to modify and improve them over time, in line with how your business evolves and changes.
Because fashion brands need to start reducing their environmental impact right now in order to help the sector meet its climate change and net-zero goals, PLM software could well be the most efficient way of making a significant step-change across your operations, as well as making you more resilient in the face of climate-related challenges in the future.