Brenda Zetina
Territory Director
Datadog
/
Expert Contributor

Fashion’s Moonshot: Reducing the Industry’s Carbon Footprint

By Brenda Zetina | Thu, 04/21/2022 - 13:00

In today's article, I want to talk about my two great passions in life: the world of fashion and innovation.

Most of you may already know what “moonshot” means. It is taken from the historical moment when man landed on the moon and, today, is used to describe an amazing and original project that might seem impossible but is finally achieved. It is breaking barriers, oriented to a mission and designed to obtain a competitive advantage that, of course, boosts the economy.

Many companies use moonshot thinking as the main philosophy to innovate disruptively, creatively and exponentially.

Talking about that, we all know that our world needs a radical change in many areas, so all industries are perfect for applying this concept. Today, I want to apply it to the fashion industry.

To give you the right perspective, I must mention that I love being able to access all kinds of clothes, shoes and accessories in record time. Without a doubt, fast fashion has revolutionized the concept of fashion that previously only some social classes could access. That’s why I love this world so much, because it really breaks down barriers.  Today, we all can have access to great catwalk designs and be part of that feeling.

On the other hand, we cannot forget that this industry is the second-most polluting industry in the world.

A couple of years ago, Maria McClay, Google's head of luxury fashion, revolutionized the haute couture industry with the help of technology for the good of humanity. Like many others, she understood that the carbon footprint of this industry was incredibly large and she launched a Google Cloud pilot with Stella McCartney to collect relevant data from the supply chain to help brands make more sustainable supply decisions. The project allows companies to use data analysis platforms to analyze the raw material they are using. In fact, this first step of the production chain is where the greatest pollution impact comes from and where the data is also hardest to find. The raw materials used, for example, cotton, require a huge amount of water and pesticides for their production, so having this process proactively can also mean a significant reduction in energy consumption.

This example is undoubtedly a great moonshot for this industry. It uses innovation, technology and the power of data in favor of sustainability.

It’s valuable to know that awareness is growing as brands start making big changes, with most companies in the fashion industry having committed to reducing their carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2030.

Consumers are also becoming more empathetic toward environmental problems. We are implementing new mechanisms for recycling, reusing or reselling our goods as second hand or “pre-owned” so that someone else can take advantage of our favorite jeans and purses. This is not only altruistic or profitable but a new way to do business that is also good for the environment.

Another important moonshot for this industry are for the brands that are against animal testing. They use technology to achieve better and faster results, avoiding animal cruelty.

I applaud these brands that promote and invest in technological innovation while thinking outside the box.

The companies that are showing their commitment to the environment, to the integrity of human resources and easy adaptability to new ways of working that have a social impact, combined with the variable of technology, are the ones that are currently generating the best moonshots in the history of their industries. It’s no longer enough to have a great product. Now, their best differentials are the team behind the products. Let us remember that the best cards to sustain a product or service over time are its innovation process, great customer service and the flexibility with which it is introduced to the market.

Photo by:   Brenda Zetina