Special Guest: Neliana Fuenmayor
Welcome to Retail Done Right. These Show Notes accompany our Season 1, Episode 4 podcast, “Talking Sustainability with Neliana Fuenmayor.”
We’re in a new era of retail – the era of the Customer Channel – where Shoppers’ rule. This requires retailers to be empathetic and supportive of their customers, in every way.
Sustainability. There isn’t a more relevant topic today. Corporations of all shapes and sizes are speaking about it. Investment firms are starting to require companies they invest in to include a Sustainability Platform in their guiding principles. And retailers and brands are touting their efforts on this front. The Circular Economy is alive and well.
But is it?
Much of this is driven by consumers, or should I say, shoppers. It’s clear that when we act as consumers, we vote in some way, acting as citizens. As a result, Brands need to be leaders. And we need to “vote” responsibly.
Neliana Fuenmayor gave up a passion for design to redesign supply chains. As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of A Transparent Company, she now helps fashion businesses shift from linear thinking to an open, transparent mindset in support of making the transition to sustainable innovation – the circular economy.
We have evolved from a linear to, now, a circular economy. Neliana’s vision, and this is what she is working toward, is an infinite economy – one with the Customer in the center of everything we do.
- The left loop is the story of how the product is made. The supply chain. Everything and everyone that brings the product to the store.
- The right loop is the moment of purchase, repurchase, rent, resell, repair, recycle – essentially the circular economy.
- The center is where the loops close and meet… at the customer – the citizen – the sweet spot of the infinite.
RESEARCH AND LINKS
· Coresight Research: “Weinswig’s Weekly: Sustainability: What European Retailers Are Doing
- Coresight Research: “Weinswig’s Weekly: A Wave of New Resale Ventures Sweeps European Retail”
· Nike launches refurbishment program in 15 stores
· Lululemon to launch resale program for ‘like new’ products
It’s about the Customer Channel. Shoppers are requiring sustainability from brands and retailers. This requires brands and retailers to be transparent in their business practices, their sourcing strategies and their supply chains for their sustainability initiatives to be understood and valued by consumers.
Neliana, via her company, A Transparent Company, has been involved in multiple MSIs (Multi-stakeholder Initiatives) including ZDHC Foundation (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) and SAC (Sustainable Apparel Coalition) as well as working with the UN, specifically the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to develop a structure – a platform – that utilizes blockchain technology to help to make transparency possible for any retailer or brand to use.
We, as shoppers, are an integral part of this. Shoppers as Citizens. We hold the power, our purchasing power.
There’s plenty more to come on this topic and we will revisit this soon.
Jeff Fisher & Cristene Gonzalez-Wertz
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