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The Definitive Guide: How to Build a Sustainable Fashion Brand

What does it take to build a fashion brand that is good for the planet, the people in it and still makes business sense? BoF’s five-part online series lays out the framework for building a responsible fashion business.
Deforestation, garments for recycling at Renewcell, a garment worker in Bangladesh. Collage by BoF.
Deforestation, garments for recycling at Renewcell, a garment worker in Bangladesh. Collage by BoF.
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This member-exclusive online learning series will show you how to build a better fashion brand across the value chain, from design decisions to buying and manufacturing, and the key metrics for measuring success.

Masterclass 1 of 5 — The Baseline, with Better Work’s Tara Rangarajan and sustainability consultant Michael Sadowski, hosted by Sarah Kent.

In the first of BoF’s Sustainability Masterclass’, sustainability correspondent Sarah Kent is joined by a host of expert panelists as they lay out the framework for building a responsible fashion business and establish the baseline for responsible and sustainable business practices in fashion.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the session, attendees should be able to:

  • Explain the framework for establishing a responsible business model
  • Identify ways to overcome the challenges associated with responsibility

Guest Speakers

  • Tara Rangarajan, Head of Communications, Brand Relationships and Country Programmes, Better Work
  • Michael Sadowski, Strategy & Sustainability Advisor

Masterclass 2 of 5 — Designing for Sustainability: Can design and profit align with doing social and environmental good?

Sarah Kent and a host of expert panelists discuss ways to embed sustainable values in the creative process, offering insights to help develop a creative process that is responsible to people and the planet.

Joined by Raeburn and Timberland Creative Director Christopher Raeburn, Cape Town-based sustainable textile designer Sindiso Khumalo and Mother of Pearl Creative Director Amy Powney this masterclass discusses how to design with environmental and social values in mind.

Challenging the current mindset when it comes to designing requires more education. Existing tools to understand and manage fashion’s social and environmental impact should be at the forefront of fashion school curricula. Designers also need to do their own due diligence to understand their supply chains in order to effect change.

Key questions answered

  • What materials, design processes and choices can minimise a garment’s environmental impact?
  • How can design align with doing social good?

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the impact of design decisions
  • Classify elements of the design process that can be changed to improve social and environmental impact

Masterclass 3 of 5 — Tracking and Traceability: How and why companies need to get to grips with their supply chain.

In the third instalment of our series on sustainable brand building, learn how and why companies need to get to grips with their supply chain.

Dr Helen Crowley, a senior advisor and fellow at Conservation International, Dio Kurazawa, founding partner at sustainability consultancy The Bear Scouts, and Allbirds Sustainability Manager Hana Kajimura discuss why companies need to be mapping all of their supply chain and measuring impact from farm to recycling facility to build smart strategies for the future.

Key questions answered

  • What transparency and traceability strategies are required to effect meaningful change?
  • Why is traceability so challenging?

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain how transparency is linked to responsibility
  • Identify supply chain improvements

Masterclass 4 of 5 — Buying Better, with Marsha Dickson, president and co-founder, Better Buying and Ayesha Barenblat, founder & CEO, Remake.World, hosted by Sarah Kent.

The fourth chapter discusses how companies can improve their buying practices to become more responsible by looking at the importance of purchasing practices and how brands can establish supportive partnerships with their suppliers.

Key questions answered

  • How do you buy responsibly?
  • What best practices enable the entire supply chain to act responsibly?

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify collaborative models to drive change
  • Propose improvements to partner relationships

Masterclass 5 — The Case for Culture

The final part of BoF’s masterclass series features Byron & Dexter Peart, founders of Goodee, and Lucy Shea, chief executive of Futerra as they look at the importance of culture, and how companies can make sure their values are embedded in business decisions from the start.

Key questions answered

  • How do companies create a culture that drives responsible business practices?
  • What should companies be focusing on and why?

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify factors that enable more inclusive and responsible operations
  • Establish measurable objectives
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Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
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The State of Fashion: Technology
© 2022 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions and Privacy policy.
The State of Fashion: Technology