PROMO INSIDERS | asicentral.com
The conversation around sustainable fashion has evolved rapidly over the last five years. Back when Dr. Noshua Watson was developing an ethical apparel business with friends, she says, “It took me two years to put together a supply chain.” Watson had to research the types of materials being used in garments, labor conditions at production facilities and how much transparency was built into the supply chain.
Then, about a year and a half after launching, things shifted. “We thought if we were going to be ahead of the game, we need to be circular,” says Watson. So, she overhauled her supply chain to make sure that end-of-life considerations were built into the apparel from the get-go.
In this episode of Promo Insiders, ASI Media’s Theresa Hegel speaks with Watson about trends in ethically produced fashion and strategies promo companies can use to make their products more sustainable. Watson is the founder of Interwoven Impact, a social impact analytics consultancy for content companies. Previously, she was the co-founder of Ethically Woven, which produced sustainable fashion events and education for trade shows, festivals and conferences.
Podcast Chapters (Available Only on Desktop)
4:05 How the sustainability discussion evolved into one about circular fashion
7:10 Avoiding the “greenwashing” label
13:58 Ideas for making swag more sustainable
18:30 What can small businesses and individuals do to make change
Watson advises promo companies to get creative when thinking about sustainability. Part of the puzzle is what items are made of and how they can recycled or reused when a consumer is finished with them. Another part is sourcing fewer items that are of higher quality – things that end-users will be happy to keep and reuse for the long-term, rather than discard after one use. But, she notes, yet another part is about thinking through logistics in a novel way. For example, T-shirts are such a big part of events and festivals. Why not make the T-shirt the ticket for a particular event by printing a QR code somewhere on the design? Or what about takeout boxes from restaurants? Is there a way to make them reusable and returnable, rather than disposable? And could that solution also include branding to add some value to the restaurants using it?