Sustainability seems like a simple concept on the surface, but it hides an enormous array of complexity. Retailers can work on sustainability in every aspect of their business. Tackling sustainability can mean creating apparel with new materials, developing refillable packaging, or finding ways to effectively recycle old products and materials. There are endless challenges and initiatives that fall under that one umbrella term.
And retailers are at a disadvantage from day one because they operate businesses that are responsible for putting more products into the universe. Sustainability is therefore more of a pursuit for retailers than anything else, but what that pursuit looks like varies.
Below, we break down some of the questions that are top of mind for us right now. That includes exploring how retailers are tying their finances to environmental goals, why fast fashion isn’t the only issue with the apparel industry, and the conflict between DTC brands’ interest in sustainability and their need to scale.