Each week, the Erb Institute shares a collection of news and updates regarding business sustainability. This month, the Erb Institute blog and social media are focusing on a key aspect of both business and sustainability: supply chain.

Sustainable Business News – 2/3/2018 – 2/9/2018

Supply Chain

British designer Misha Nonoo is rewriting fashion’s playbook

Fast Company

“Over the last year, Nonoo has been busy taking apart her company piece by piece and rethinking what a modern fashion label should look like. She has totally upended her supply chain to make it as sustainable as possible, manufacturing each piece on demand when a customer places an order. Rather than doing seasonal collections, Nonoo now focuses on creating eight simple black-and-white pieces that can be worn in nearly two dozen ways, to simplify women’s dressing. By ending her partnerships with retailers like Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, and selling directly to the consumer, she’s been able to shift away from the luxury price point: Her pieces now range from $140 to $750. She’s also put the traditional runway show behind her.”

Action, reaction and market transformation in the apparel industry

Erb Perspective Blog

“Sustainability—or a lack of it—has punctuated the apparel industry’s most notable moments over the last few decades. They include Nike’s sweatshop scandal in 1991, Patagonia’s public commitment to recycled polyester in 1992 and organic cotton in 1996, Levi’s 2010 launch of its Water<Less jeans and last year’s Adidas “Speedfactory” opening in Germany.”

Understanding sustainability means talking about colonialism

The Cut

“I speak frequently about sustainability in fashion, whether at conferences or in an educational context, and I often hear the same question: ‘It seems that to have a sustainable ‘lifestyle’ — air quotes around the word lifestyle — one has to be rich. If you can’t afford $600 sweaters, how can you be sustainable?’

Whenever I’m asked this question I am reminded how the mainstream Western perspective on sustainability is focused on one small part of the problem, while ignoring most of the larger important global issues. Yes, clothing production with a priority to limit environmental and human-rights problems is much better than standard fast fashion (and is usually more expensive), but in fact sustainability is a spectrum, and doing less damage is still doing some damage. So you can’t solve sustainability by simply buying things. The game here is about reduction of harm, not binary solutions.”

Sustainability a focus for beef supply chain


“Many of those gathered at this year’s Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show in Phoenix are working toward sustainability within the beef industry at all levels of the supply chain.

‘Sustainability, as defined by NCBA, is about producing safe and nutritious beef with economic viability, environmental stewardship and social responsibility,” said Dr. Sara Place, Sr. Director, Sustainable Beef Production Research at NCBA. Place said consumers often have misconceptions about things like greenhouse gas emissions when it comes to beef production.'”

7 key trends all sustainability execs should watch


“Blockchain may have been grabbing headlines for its use in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and CloakCoin of late, but its applications for boosting companies’ sustainability credentials — particularly by improving transparency and tracking of supply chains — potentially are significant. Businesses should be striving for increased supply chain transparency, the report stated, which can help to reduce or eradicate material waste, boost collaboration and knowledge sharing, and help decentralize energy grids.”

Dunkin’ Donuts is finally ending their use of foam cups

Green Matters

“On Wednesday, Dunkin’ Donuts announced plans to finally eliminate all polystyrene foam cups from their supply chain, with a goal to end their use completely by 2020. In their press release, they say the process will begin in the spring of 2018, so if you like drinking boiling hot coffee from foam cups, you only have a few more weeks of guaranteed time to do so.”

Lisa Jackson on Apple’s supply chain evolution


“Apple’s VP of energy policy and sustainability joined GreenBiz on the VERGE stage once again, not long after the iPhone models 8 and X were revealed. Lisa Jackson revealed news about its suppliers, details about its lauded closed-loop goal and an aim to get more political on clean energy.

In 2017, the iPhone maker set a goal to make all new products out of recycled or renewable materials, although it hasn’t set a timeframe. ‘It’s been really fun within Apple to watch the engineers challenge themselves with such a big, big goal and to watch the executive team say no, we didn’t mean ‘never,’ we mean ‘what’s our plan to get there?'” she explained.'”Do you want to contribute to the conversation? Tweet us @erbinstitute!