HomeFashionMeet the brands setting a new blueprint for supply chain traceability

Meet the brands setting a new blueprint for supply chain traceability

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Harvest periods in the US, Brazil and Australia differ, with variation in quality across regions meaning cotton often has to be blended to improve the overall fibre quality. “Local [Pakistani] cotton has to be procured in the space of three to four months, during harvest season between June and September or October. But you can’t buy 12 months of inventory in the space of four months, that would involve huge finances, insurance risk, warehousing space, so we buy around 50 to 60 per cent of the cotton and store that for the rest of the year,” says Javed.

Brands must weigh up the advantages of localised sourcing against the risks of relying too heavily on a small number of sourcing markets, especially given the rise in climate change-driven extreme weather events. “If something happens [like the floods in Pakistan], how do you diversify and build capacity somewhere else in the world?” says Marshall. “Companies should plan for scenarios and have a team focused on issues that may come up to avoid those risks,” she says.

In addition, being beholden to one country relies on sturdy local policies, for instance around energy use and decarbonisation. Pakistan, for example, is particularly reliant on coal and there’s been a lack of investment from the government on renewable practices, says Marshall.

AGI Denim, which is the first B-Corp certified company in Pakistan, has had to adopt a proactive approach to surpass the local reliance on oil and gas. “We are keenly aware of evolving foreign legislation, with a key focus on EU legislation. Our proactive approach aims to stay ahead of such developments,” says Javed. AGI Denim aims to reduce its carbon intensity by more than half by 2030, has enlisted consultants to calculate its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, and has set Science Based Targets for achieving net zero emissions. In 2021, the company installed 2 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity and plans to add an additional 2 MW in 2024, which will mean that 20 per cent of the energy it uses is renewable.

Gobi Cashmere works closely with Mongolian herders to ensure its sourcing is ethical and responsible. “Full control over manufacturing allows us to deliver high-quality final products while upholding sustainability standards,” says Baatarsaikhan. “Cashmere is a treasure that is inherited from the nomadic culture of our ancestors. Nomadism prioritises the relationship between people and the environment, which makes the concept of incorporating sustainable development not all that new for us.”

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