Amid the increasing carbon footprint and more visible effects of climate change, sustainability has become one of the key focuses for both brands and consumers. More and more customers are now willing to pay for sustainable products and choose brands that are committed to ethical fashion.
Whatever your business and no matter the industry, there are benefits to making sure your brand focuses on sustainability. Being a sustainable brand not only helps the planet but also enhances your brand image and unlocks new opportunities.
Here are a few tips for making your brand "more sustainable."
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, moving business operations online has become the need of the hour. However, several businesses haven’t yet fully embraced the change and are yet to experience the positive shift that technology can bring. Virtual operations allow you to cut back on travel, hence, your carbon footprint. Next time you need to arrange a board meeting, choose a video conference call instead of a physical one.
Companies can also plan a hybrid virtual model in which a few employees are working on-premises, while others work from home. It promises greater access to talent, increased productivity for individuals, small teams, lower costs and more individual flexibility.
Social and ethical issues
Friedel Hütz-Adams, a researcher, told the Development + Cooperation (D+C), a website that focuses on international development, that the global economy can only be made more sustainable if environmental progress is flanked by social progress. He added, that high wages need to be provided to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Along with government-approved and timely wages, organisations need to ensure proper working hours, zero harassment, diversity and inclusion.
Employees should also be trained for sustainability in order to know about the bigger picture and learns what goes into becoming sustainable.
While constantly training your staff about sustainability, your workspace- warehouse, factories, offices should actively focus on limiting energy usage, recycling, reusing and reduction in water usage. When it comes to energy use, the basics should be religiously followed like making sure the lights, electrical devices are turned off when not in use.
If you are a fashion brand, try and follow the ‘zero waste fashion’ techniques - wherein a garment’s designs and patterns are carefully considered, so all of the pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle and nothing is wasted.
A few clothing brands are also cautious about what will happen to their product, once the customer has worn it enough times. Such brands have provisions to consider the afterlife of the product, where these are recycled and repurposed.
Usage of low environmental impact materials
Ever thought of using materials that have a relatively lower negative environmental impact? Experts say that it takes less energy to create natural fibres than synthetic fabrics. Synthetic materials like polyester and acrylics come from oil and natural gas. Production of polyester alone requires 125 MJ of energy per kilogram, as a result, the greenhouse gas emitted weighs around 14.2 kg of CO2 per kilogram- making it a high-impact process.
Whereas, natural fabrics use less energy and release fewer carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
Opt for sustainable packaging
Packaging is one aspect that brands often neglect. In order to make your brand environment-friendly, use packaging that is made up of recycled content or is further biodegradable. There are several innovative ideas for packaging materials such as mushrooms and hemp. Some companies have also opted for seaweed packaging.
Apart from changing the material of packaging, sustainable packaging also means reducing packaging materials and minimizing waste. When implemented correctly, they lead to more efficient storage so you can limit the space required to house your products (thus lowering storage costs).