Sustainability Never Goes Out of Fashion
– Sustainability is like a journey that never ends. The deeper you dig into it, the more challenging – and fascinating – it becomes, says general manager of Texcon, Thomas Vethe. It’s now been one year since Texcon was certified as an Eco-Lighthouse.
– It’s touching to see the shift in attitude that has happened after just one year. Many people used to think sustainability wasn’t relevant for Texcon, as we neither produce nor transport clothing. Now our attitude is way more proactive. This is in part due to consumers’ growing interest in sustainability. They care about how products are made, and they want high quality clothes that will last for a long time. This goes hand in hand with our members’ views on sustainability, says Vethe.
On the Right Track
Last year, Texcon was certified as an Eco-Lighthouse. Texcon also joined forces with Fretex to start a return scheme for clothes. Furthermore, Texcon continued its collaboration with the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund. On top of that, Texcon entered into a partnership with Position Green, a renowned and well-reputed Nordic company within environmental reporting.
– The aim is that our customers can feel certain that the clothes they buy have not been produced under unacceptable conditions. In order to meet the requirements of The Transparency Act, we now use Position Green’s tool to assess suppliers with regards to risk and due diligence. This year we will use the same tool to review manufacturers’ environmental certificates. Our work with The Transparency Act is particularly important for those of our members large enough to be covered by the Act, but the results will benefit all our members. Success in this area will of course depend on our suppliers, but my impression is that the big European brands have already come a long way. Other suppliers have further to go before they’ll be able to deliver the documentation we ask for.
Sustainable Purchasing Choices
Consumers want to do their shopping in an environmentally friendly way, but they often don’t have time to do their own research. Our aim is that the shops themselves can make sustainable choices when they purchase goods, and that’s why Texcon is now working hard to gather the necessary information from suppliers.
– How have you worked to increase the awareness around sustainability?
– Questions around sustainability arise even before you get to your place of work. It’s simply about becoming more aware of everything from travelling to recycling. Anyone who wants to run a sustainable business has to critically examine their supply chain. Of course, it’s also about instigating change ourselves. Sustainability is therefore always a topic of discussion when we meet up. When our members make environmentally sound decisions, customers will also make better choices.
Passion for Sustainability
– For me, personally, last year was a real wake-up call. We have come a long way in setting out the principles for how to move forward, how we should implement the change, and how we intend to work on sustainability. But the fashion industry has embarked on an incredibly long journey. We have to recognise that sustainability is a mindset. It’s like a filter we have to apply to everything around us. When looking at any area of your business, always challenge yourself by asking: Are we doing everything we can to become as sustainable as possible? Is there anything we can improve? For me, sustainability has become a passion and a cause very close to my heart, says Vethe. – It’s very rewarding to be allowed to lead Texcon towards a more sustainable future.