By Molly Polk Hannon
The overall focus for Global Fashion Agenda in 2020 as well as in 2021 is Redesigning Value. In this new year, this very theme endures serving as a useful barometer for companies and customers eager to improve their sustainability track record.
How do you measure value?
Fortunately, with the advance of new technologies, measuring value has never been easier. But what can help global companies and customers to deepen their understanding of what constitutes the value of say, a T-shirt purchased online, is by creating better transparency within the global supply chain. In other words, providing both brands and customers with a bird’s eye view of the lives of those who comprise the global supply chain.
For Avery Dennison, a company whose name has now become synonymous with sustainability, new technologies possess the promise of improving methods of measuring sustainable endeavours, particularly when it comes to enhancing transparency within our global supply chain.
New Year, New Endeavours
Before 2020 came to its timely end, the company announced a new initiative that would bring together technology and business leaders to establish transparency within the supply chain. Its film, “A Portrait of a Supply Chain” offers a glimpse into the lives of those who comprise the supply chain demonstrating the pivotal role each individual plays in this extensive chain.
From the green jungles of Mexico to the salty coast of South Africa, the film shows what transparency also means for those working within the global supply chain. Here, we can gain insight into both the work and commitment involved in the daily grind of life, and to see how that very work shapes and impacts the communities and environments that comprise the lives of those working tirelessly within the supply chain, before you can purchase the end product; be it a bodylotion, a shirt or a fish for your next dinner.
Just as COVID-19 shed an unforgiving light on the practices of the fashion industry – as well as so many other global industries – it gave companies and customers a newfound as well as a shared appreciation for how sustainability can serve as a sound business practice, especially in the face of the unfathomable.
Technology equals transparency
For companies, such as Avery Dennison, harnessing the power of new technologies to improve transparency remains critical to mobilising companies and customers to make sustainability a priority either in their business practices or personal lives as well as the habits that govern them.
According to a study by Avery Dennison, 83% of business leaders believe that supply chains and associated technologies can support sustainability objectives, with 65% identifying sustainability as an even greater priority after COVID-19, whereas 70% of consumers feel trust in a brand is more critical than in the past.
The 2030 United Nations Sustainable Goals (SDGs) underscore a similar sentiment when it comes to implementing sustainable practices. SDGs 12, 13, and 17 are worth noting, as they demonstrate the kind of efforts that companies, such as Avery Dennison and the work of yours truly (Global Fashion Agenda) are actively taking to keep the sustainability agenda alive.
Chain, chain, chain
Outlined in SDGs 12 and 13 is the need for responsible production and consumption and the need to take immediate action on the climate. The last goal—SDG17—outlines the critical need for partnerships. By strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing global partnerships for sustainable development, only then can progress begin to transpire and eventually bring about long-lasting change—at all levels of the global supply chain.
Acutely aware of this crucial need for collaboration are companies like Avery Dennison, who in the last year have joined forces with not only brands, but governments and NGOs to help broaden their knowledge of how they together can work within planetary boundaries and galvanise others (i.e. brands and customers) to do the same.
“There is a critical need from Governments, NGOs and consumers for more transparency throughout the global supply chain,” said Tyler Chaffo, Manager of Global Sustainability, Avery Dennison Intelligent Labels. “This means moving beyond just tier one suppliers but throughout the chain to empower people as well as products and build a more sustainable planet. Many organisations are using the current crisis to rethink and transform their global supply chain model. “A Portrait of a Supply Chain” is our initiative to ‘hero’ some of the individuals and companies that are committed to making this happen.”
You can have a look at their video HERE.