5 things brand-owners can do to make products more sustainable

August 2020

5 things brand-owners in apparel and furniture can do - right now - to make products more sustainable

The apparel and furniture industries find themselves in a transformational state where companies seek to protect their long-term value and acknowledge business opportunities by devoting themselves to sustainable development.

There are plenty of low hanging fruits that can start your brand in this transformation and positively impact your business-results and brand here and now.

In LTP, we experience that a trustful and open collaboration across the supply-chain accelerate the transformation. Working together with +100 forward-thinking brands – many with a strong sustainability profile - we have collected some practical experiences to share.

Here is our top 5:

1. Consider near-sourcing with raw materials and finished goods travelling as short as possible. Include effects from speed, flexibility, logistics and the brand value selling sustainable products into your benchmark.

2. Review the packaging solutions with your supplier. Change plastic to recycled, and carton to FSC certified. Analyze if you might be over-wrapping the goods. Discuss with your supplier if any products possibility could be reengineered to knock-down solutions (furniture) saving tons of emissions and money.

3. Require your supplier comply with ESG industry standards. In furniture it could be Swedish Möbelfakta and FSC. In apparel BlueSign, Fairwear, BSCI, GOTS or other. Do not stop there. Discuss the audit reports with your supplier and identify possibilities to improve. Stay open that some changes might cost a little money, where others might save. Be creative together on how to convert ESG into market value.

4. Require your suppliers have accountable measures on CO2 emissions, on use of chemicals and on waste handling. Do not stop there. Study the developments and discuss improvements. In LTP we lowered the CO2 emissions per furniture unit with 30% from 2016 to 2019 by using Green Energy. The solutions are available here and now.

5. Ask your supplier to check if any materials can be substituted to sustainable alternatives. Require that your key-suppliers build up this knowhow and start using DFE (design for environment) and DFD (design for disassembly) in your design collaboration.

We strongly believe in sustainability as a powerful value-driver.

The transformation will take-off the moment you as a Buyer decide to bring the sustainability agenda up among the success criteria for an optimal supply-chain side by side with costs, quality, speed and reliability.