While looking for ways to combat a diverse and over-saturated apparel market, we learned that fashion brands anchored in sustainable efforts and the self-governing start-ups who were willing to apply full transparency to their brand ethos, were rewarded by consumers. This session is not so much about challenging an antiquated industry in order to slay Goliath, but rather taking a broader, more long-term worldview toward sustainable practices, having the willingness to innovate (and occasionally be first to fail) and placing the true brand-self front and center to create profitability.
The comprehensive session offers discussion in proving the business case and impact sustainable practices have on the fashion industry; from building a label ground up, to consulting established brands looking to pivot and make a serious commitments. Addressing various approaches proven to be instrumental actions in growing a sustainable lifestyle brand business—partnering with the likes of Fair Labor Association, Bluesign, Fair Trade USA; supply chain and environmental audits; manufacturing innovation; giveback programs and pulling inspiration from customer community feedback. These items all help support a reoccurring idea that applying authentic guiding principles across the entirety of a business is indeed good for business.
The goal of the session is for start-ups and young businesses to walkaway with a greater understanding of the time, energy and effort it requires to build a brand along these guidelines, and a “how-to” blueprint of using sustainability in a manner that is genuine to help drive growth.