Circular by nature: Fashion’s journey to environmental integrity

Author: Nadia Pelekanos




29 May 2024

Circularity underpins every ecosystem in the natural world. It’s nature’s way of creating a balanced, self-sustaining cycle. This “closed loop” system provides a blueprint for a circular economy and sustainable marketing practices in fashion retail but highlights a challenge for an industry juggling everything from managing product flows to quantifying the impact of its marketing activation.

Partner with HH Global to steer your operations towards a sustainable future

Circularity has to start somewhere

Since launching in 2022, the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles has directed focus toward more environmentally viable practices throughout the industry. Not only does this EU strategy seek to reduce raw material wastage in clothing production, but it also seeks to cut emissions associated with the entire lifecycle of a product or process, from manufacturing through to marketing.

At HH Global we are pioneering initiatives in partnership with our clients to help them to “design out” waste and embodied CO2 in their marketing activities through a number of industry-leading initiatives including our Conscious Creative program. This industry-first program helps fashion retail brands more effectively consider their impact from the very start of their marketing ideation right through to physical production, activation and beyond. From design to end-of-use, we’re working with leading global brands to help them to minimize their environmental and social impact. We are helping to educate, inspire and enable responsible design, material and manufacturing choices to drive transformative change and positively influence the impact of marketing activation.

Rewards for reinvention

Adopting new materials, leveraging technology and anticipating trends are key to fashion brand longevity and with sustainability regulations and shopper demand for environmentally friendly products increasing this is adding further layers of complexity. Meeting these expectations requires brands not only to integrate sustainable practices into their products but also into their marketing strategies, without compromising on quality or design.

Fashioning a sustainable future

At HH Global, we have been leading brands toward the adoption of materials and smart processes for their marketing activation that surpass existing environmental standards. Our commitment ensures that from the sourcing of materials to the recycling of marketing products, the environmental footprint of each client we work with is minimized, while adherence to ethical and sustainable standards is maximized.

As one of the first companies in the world to have received approval of our commitments to the Net-Zero Standard by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), we’re leading the way in cutting emissions. We aim to reach net-zero emissions by FY40, with a 50% reduction by FY30. We’ve been promoting awareness of two critical types of CO2 emissions: Scope 2 and Scope 3 – both of which play a significant role in the marketing, manufacturing and creative supply chains. By partnering with our clients, we can help them evaluate their marketing operations and account for and reduce these emissions – not just for the sake of compliance but as a step toward full accountability.

Our bespoke sustainability insights tool automates carbon emission calculations, providing detailed insights for every item or campaign, generated through our proprietary technology. This enhancement helps clients make informed sustainable purchasing decisions and reduce their indirect carbon footprint and Scope 3 emissions.

Driving sustainability beyond environmental concerns

For fashion brands, this drive to more sustainable practices across their production and marketing extends beyond environmental concerns. It includes committing to broader ESG standards, upholding the rights of their staff, and ensuring their suppliers honor essential human values.

With our Sustainable Procurement Framework (SPF), we’re helping brands to drive change beyond their own operations and into their supply chain. The SPF, anchored in the UN SDGs, is a tech-driven initiative that encourages our strategic supplier partners to embrace sustainable practices and bolster their environmental, social and governance (ESG) profiles. This ensures that our clients have access to nearly a thousand supplier partners across 50 nations, representing over $1B in spend, that have joined this program. More than a third of these strategic supplier partners have improved their maturity ratings since joining the SPF program, helping to improve their corporate sustainability practices.

Completing the virtuous circle

To some, these new strategies and directives may seem burdensome. By partnering with HH Global clients can embrace them as invaluable opportunities, acting as a springboard for innovative solutions that strike a balance between impactful marketing and sustainability.

By taking a cue from nature and extending the principles of circular thinking into every facet of their operations, fashion retailers can fully embrace the circular economy and sustainable marketing activation. In this way, the transition to sustainability becomes more than a compliance box-ticking exercise but rather a roadmap to resilience, innovation and a successful, sustainable future.

Discover the possibilities of circularity in fashion and how partnering with HH Global can help steer your operations toward a more sustainable tomorrow: contact us.

Nadia Pelekanos

Chief Client Officer

Nadia is responsible for creating and executing transformative programs that deliver measurable value and growth for our global brand clients. As well as managing a portfolio of key client accounts, she is responsible for driving the overall strategic direction for the Retail and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry sectors at HH Global, ensuring our solutions propositions are aligned to our clients’ needs and performance ambitions.