Implementation Support Project
Implementation support - a flexible experienced resource
After developing the first environmental sustainability strategy for a global fashion brand, we were invited to work with them for over a year to support them with developing their new team, setting up and launching flagship projects, and embedding the governance and management of the programme into the business.
Our purpose was to embed the sustainability strategy into the business and departments, so that the new sustainability department could take over from a place of strength and legitimacy. The key programme was to map out and initiate a transition to circular economy, as well a more detailed roadmap to achieving Net Zero Waste.
What we did
Our first task was to specify how the new sustainability department should be designed relevant for the business and the programme of work and help recruit members onto the team. Whilst this was ongoing, we worked with key members of the R&D, Procurement and Marketing team to explore circular economy principles and how they were relevant for them.
Several key projects were initiated, such as research into waste impact and specific materials components – which led to identifying key suppliers for sourcing new materials (such as bamboo waste material that could be reused) and R&D for next season’s product range. We also brought researchers in to look at their manufacturing processes to see where waste could be reduced (this had been identified in the sustainability strategy process as an area for opportunity).
When the new sustainability team was in place, we provided training, an induction and connected them with the projects that were ongoing.
The business continued to embrace sustainability and saw benefits in product R&D, customer engagement, and operational efficiencies. The journey slowed a bit after we left due to the lead director also leaving and a natural stall as relationships were transitioned over. However, once the new Head of Sustainability was in place, progress started to pick up again.
Today, the business has rolled out significant operational efficiencies globally across their manufacturing sites, and their product portfolio is constantly evolving on sustainable options, with a focus on raw materials from sustainable sources and a set of ‘hero’ products. They started non-financial reporting (ESG) in 2016 but are still working on fully embedding circular economy principles.