Amina Razvi and Emily Adams Bode on rebuilding the fashion industry post Covid-19


Amina Razvi and Emily Adams Bode on rebuilding the fashion industry post Covid-19

By ELLE Team  June 23rd, 2020

In the wake of Covid-19, sustainability has become more than a buzzword. The fashion industry heavy-weights and consumers alike are rethinking ways to turn more eco-friendly in their choices. How do we move towards a sustainable future in a post-coronavirus world? Amina Razvi, Executive Director of Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Emily Adams Bode, founder of Bode, came together for an Instagram Live as part of the #ELLExTataCliQLuxuryForum series for a discussion on the same.

Presenting key takeaways from the conversation between Amina Razvi and Emily Adams Bode:

The future of sustainability in fashion:

Emily was keen to know, “post-pandemic, will sustainability will accelerate, from a consumer standpoint?” Amina shared her thoughts: “At this moment, it may have taken a little bit of a backseat. Companies around the world not just within our industry are just grappling with how to survive. But I think when we start coming out of the crisis, which is starting to happen right now, companies that have integrated sustainability and companies working to integrate sustainability, are definitely going to fare better. We’ve seen that companies that have had these practices in place, how they engage with their supply chain partners and how they’re having these conversations, are already faring better. And from a consumer standpoint, it is going to increase. Prior to the crisis, we were seeing sustainability more and more in the agenda but post-pandemic, people will be more conscious as they are spending less and more aware about where they buy and who they buy it from.”

The importance of data:

Amina emphasised that data is crucial to making better decisions that lead to sustainability. She said, “Transparency is the outcome that we are striving for. It all starts with really good data. You can’t really manage what you are not measuring! For designers and manufacturers, what I think is necessary is, to see what they are digging into, what and how they can make products. It allows companies and designers to get that information so they can use to inform better choices. For us, transparency is about knowing your business well, knowing what you do and where your material comes from and how you are engaging with your supply chain partners. All of this is how you unlock your data to make more informed decisions and have a more productive kind of dialogue. Ultimately, how you translate that information within business, with partners and to consumers to make better choices is what’s important.”

The role of designers:

Emily spoke about collaborating with her labels partners and opening up dialogues with them about sustainability. “We share our methods, options for fibres and hand- and machine-embroideries, whether the cotton used is organic, and how we can reduce water usage,” she shared. “Is this something that’s up to designers and vendors? What are the manufacturers’ responsibilities to steer the designers in a particular direction? Should it just come from people placing purchase orders, like myself?” she asked Amina.

Amina replied, “It’s a collaborative discussion, the designer plays a huge role in this. Seventy to 80 % of the environmental impact of a product is designed upfront. Right through its specification of materials to the process used. The designer is the key in this entire shift towards a sustainable industry. A designer may not know what the options are but looking for a design and sustainable perspective and actually engaging with supply chain partners who have tons of deep knowledge and expertise can offer really great insights. Some of the great collaborations you will see occur when a brand and manufactures meet together to come up with innovations and move work forward. I think there is a lot to be learnt and everyone has a role to play to shift the industry.”

Watch the full conversation here:

 

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