Voice on Demand - Retail Podcast by MECS+R

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Wore The Same Outfit For The 5th Time And Was The Coolest In The Room

by The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres & Retailers
May 3rd 2020

Sustainability will be the only way to do business and those who didn’t incorporate in time are going to be left behind. Small changes matter, and it starts from our behavior as consumers. The acce... More

wear so used to buying the latest trend two days after they were presented on a catwalk, and we don't really mind its consequences. This represents a huge opportunity for us to actually make a difference. Welcome to the voice on the band podcast by the Emmy CSR, the voice of the shopping centers and retailers in the mean a region our guest. Today he is the founder and CEO for Al Becks. Manufacturer mannequins. No things retail in the GCC region have been incorporating sustainable solutions for the organization, and their clients were pleased to welcome Vic Makani, founder and CEO of Al Becks, Mannequins and Congress. We love fashion and we love the environment, don't we? But are those two compatibles nowadays? We can't ignore fashions bad impact on the environment, but neither can resist to get the latest trends into our wardrobes. The numbers don't lie

. Fashion contributes to its 10% off the total carbon emission worldwide. Also, it's water consumption is excessive. I mean to produce only one kg of cotton, 20,000 letters. Water is needed. We can say that environmental damage comes from step off the production and buying cycle from the production off fabrics to the excessive consumption of governments on the way we dispose off them. Well, talking about sustainability we must include those involved in the industry is, well, think about people working for brands you like. Are you aware off their labor conditions? Do they have fair wages? We need to start searching for the answers to these questions, because after hearing horror stories about places where labor is known to be cheap, we definitely don't want to be a part of it, right. It's clear that there's a long road to walk still, but we can start with small actions. Let's take advantage off the tools

we have, for example, the access to information. We all have access to the Internet off things. Let's use it wisely and start doing our own research so our consumption is more responsible. I'm sure that you will find all the important information needed because while consumer behavior is changing, brands that are transparent about their actions are the other ones winning the game. Now they have to tell us about the origin off the governments, the condition off the workers, the quality off the materials and the sustainable actions they're adopting. it's easy for brands to implement sustainability into their strategy. Since fashion is such a complex industry, modifying a strategy is a challenge even for large historical brands. Even frontier brands haven't succeeded to reach 100% sustainable levels. Having in mind the production cycle of garments? Is this 100% achievable? Sadly, on Lee, a few have done it on The way to do it means decomposing all

their processes and incurring in high cost that are reflected in the short term. I believe sustainability is an investment with monetary and social benefits for the long term. What's true is that being sustainable was considered a privilege. But is it now? Not really. It's a necessity, and those who haven't joined will arrive late to the wave and won't be able to write it. In today's view, sustainability has to be a part off the business plan off a brand having in mind that anticipating for the future is always smart and without a doubt, the pioneers will lead the industry in the future, so it's better to be prepared. All the activities that we used to see around fashion have changed as well, from the way we shop to how we perceive big fashion events such as Fashion Week and how we communicate with brands now, with the appearance of influences, were getting to hear more about that more about sustainability. I remember how, in the past it was unforgivable

to repeat the same outfit at an event, especially if pictures were to be taken. Now that's in the past. Who makes it to the front covers nowadays the royal repeating address for the fifth time, or an actor who talks about the environment. So now, sustainability being trendy? Are we interested in joining that club? This necessary change is starting to work in different ways. We can see how now more emerging designers in cooperating artisans to their processes, giving them credit for their creation and better labor conditions. It's also good to see how culture is having more presence in fashion, giving us the chance to wear and be proud of our heritage. These positive actions take us to analyze how easy it is to incur into non sustainable activities. It comes to my mind in the case of a brand created by young entrepreneurs who integrate indigenous artisans as the main asset and brand DNA. Their products include designs that reflect the history of the country, but

in a very fashionable and modern way. Sadly, as I mentioned before, it's really hard to become 100% sustainable and that these guys are no exception. They solved the fair wage on the labor condition issues but did not think about the impact off their materials, specifically the cotton they use, which comes from non organic sources having the same impact in the water consumption as any other brand. I tell you this story to show you how hard it is to be sustainable, but also to show you that every attempt, even the smallest ones, benefit us as a society. Another example of how non sustainable activities are always chasing us came along when the wagon fabric appeared. Ah, great idea indeed. Imagine being able to wear leather jacket made out of pineapple fiber or milk instead of animal hide. Even more exciting if the textures are the same. But what happens when you realize the side effects of it? We as

humans, tend to incur an excessive amount off everything, which in the wagon fabric case can have a huge impact if the resources are not fully thought through. Then we have the fast fashion trap because who doesn't love the convenience of buying really cheap, fashionable garments? This by wear ones disposed Mindset contributes big time to the fashion pollution impact. We're so used to buying the latest trend two days after they were presented on a catwalk, and we don't really mind its consequences. This represents a huge opportunity for us to actually make a difference. How about thinking twice before buying another shirt that will only last you one month or buying less pieces but making sure they were manufactured with quality materials that will make them last longer in our wardrobes? Let's start following trends that will make us small conscious, such as minimalism, in which the things we own represents something meaningful to us

. Talking about small changes. There's a list of actions that we can all practice. The first one is reuse. There's no better way to reduce the impact off our excessive production and consumption than actually using our governments. It helps us avoid producing more. This action can be put in practice from different sides. From the supply side, we can start offering rental services and more ethical production. And from the consumer side, we can start in cooperating second and heightens to our daily lives. The second comes from the maintenance that we give to our possessions. For example, did you know that your genes should be washed after the 10th time? You warn them? It's also easier to mend something than buying something new. Trust me on this one. The third includes paying attention to the origin off the products and services that we consume. Even the smallest action could make a difference when it comes to bring any benefit to the environment, from fair wages to

cruelty free practices, These products can be more expensive but are also made to last longer. So in the end, buying a good one equals to buying 10 in the same period of time. Share what you know, ask questions and show off your sustainable lifestyle. In this digital era, we do need more people leading with a good example. I know you may have heard these tips before, but it's never too late to start practicing them at Al Becks, my company. We supply different brands with mannequins and displace, and we have seen the evolution of fashion from a very different perspective. We are the first step off the brand supply chain, which means that if we implement socially responsible practices, we are then helping our Klein's becoming more transparent and more sustainable as well. We care about sustainability, and we're trying to incorporate it in different ways. We

started working with wood, metal and more natural elements to avoid long periods of bio degradation and our reuse off materials. We also started producing biodegradable bags that all of us to offer another option to our clients. Unfortunately, changes are being done slowly. After hearing this, you can realize and relate to some of the issues that the industry is facing on a daily basis. It seems that you solve one problem, but it creates another five. So what's the solution from my point of view toe? Involve all the actors in the industry and invite them to work towards the same goal, which is to create the less possible impact toe every one of our actions which has to start from one zone conscious self. I believe we all have a sustainable side. Most of the time it won't come with an immediate profit motivation. The way I see it is the environment is our most precious asset, as companies and

as individuals, that should be reason enough to preserve it. As you can see, we can all make small actions that brings us closer to becoming more sustainable. Speaking from a company side, we can choose to create Ah, positive impact by educating ourselves and our customers by being transparent on our practices and by thinking twice before, only focusing on making a profit. Why it's difficult is fashion companies. Designers want you always experiment and try something new. Where and say out of 10 fashion designers, two would try something sustainable. Where is the eight would try something different, So I think it would take time for everyone to realize and to adapt to a system. Recently, I saw a show on Netflix called Next in Fashion, and there was a fashion designer from the UK called Daniel Fletcher. The beauty about his the beauty about him is was Georgia semifinals, and

he had to make an outfit. So what he did, there were about 10 different contestants. He went picking up all the bits and pieces off the 10 different contestants that they threw on the ground, and he made a government out of that. It looked fantabulous, But like I said again, it's about over here. You're talking about one person making that difference. So it would take time for brands, larger brands, historical brands to slowly start moving towards a direction and for us as people to also adapt and move forwards. A few things that we have started actually a few years ago is we sell hangers. But most of the hangers we sell are either made out of wood made out of recycled plastic made out of corn starch. So that's an initiator from our end. We produce shopping bags, but we don't produce shopping bags from virgin material mannequins. Like I said, we're researching and developing on a daily on a daily base. We're looking at re using various materials, a mixture off because because is a byproduct off sugar

cane because with a mix of cornstarch we're seeing and we're trying to understand how it can be used and stop using fiberglass completely for mannequins. It's not always about making money, and my kids are also growing in this in this environment that we live. So if I don't take a step and if I don't take that measure, my kids will not learn anything different, they will be. They would also follow, You know, the same part that we all follow right now. So we we have started taking sustainable to a level where we don't just practice it at the office. But we also practice it at home. I live in a place called Sustainable City, which is the only sustainable, uh, city technically in the world. We don't use plastic at home. We try to avoid using plastic. We use recycled bags. Uh, we have a supermarket called Zoom in the in the community. And when you go to zoom, you don't get plastic bags anymore. Residents from within the community would come and give the old cloth bags and paper bags and a small little basket. So let's say you wanna

go buy a can of milk very often. I don't even ask for a bag. I just take the can of milk in my hand. But let's say you buy some milk and some eggs and some bread. You need a bag. You take the bag from the little basket there, which is already reused. We have greenhouses within the community where in our waste is all converted to menu, and that is then made to produce herbs such as rosemary or or green such a spinach or baby tomatoes. And this is distributed within the community. So I think steps have already been taken, and slowly I can already see the country we live in is moving towards that direction. With this, I leave you to think about how sustainable you can be on preserve our thanks for listening. Subscribe down to the voice of man, Podcast in Apple podcast, Spotify, soundcloud and stitcher See you in the next episode.

Wore The Same Outfit For The 5th Time And Was The Coolest In The Room
Wore The Same Outfit For The 5th Time And Was The Coolest In The Room
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