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How Provenance & GANNI are fighting greenwash and green ‘hush’

ADVERTORIAL
By Sponsor

25 Nov 2021

Business

Decades of globalisation have disconnected us from the reality of how our clothes are made. But today, as more information surfaces about the fashion industry’s social and environmental impact, more and more shoppers are addressing this disconnect and demanding more honesty from brands. Fashion Revolution continues to inspire thousands of citizens to ask difficult questions of the industry – seeing the #whomademyclothes hashtag shared over 850k times on Instagram (this year alone) was personally very inspiring.

This growing discontent gives me reason for hope, not least because the market is slowly beginning to respond with more transparency. Encouraging progress is being made on disclosing supplier lists, and at COP26, the UN Fashion Charter for Climate Action included a communications commitment for the first time ever.

But we must also see these wins for what they are: baby steps. Opaque supply chains remain a threat to our collective future, so it’s vital that the fashion industry takes significant strides towards transparency, and fast.

GANNI took part in Fashion Revolution’s #whomademyclothes campaign earlier this year.

Powering evidence-backed transparency for GANNI shoppers

Against this backdrop, me and the team at Provenance – the software solution for sustainability communications – are incredibly excited to begin working with GANNI.

Our technology is enabling them to be transparent about the origin and impact of their clothes and suppliers in a credible way, connecting claims to proof from the supply chain. GANNI.com shoppers can now click through products in their SOFTWARE line to learn about the impact of the materials they’re made of. Every ‘responsible sourcing’ claim is supported by easily-accessible evidence – for example, working conditions audits by SA8000 and GOTS, and carbon measurements from the Higg Index.

GANNI’s historic refusal to smooth over the negative impact of their fashion supply chains – they’ve intentionally never identified as a ‘sustainable’ brand – makes them a fantastic partner for Provenance.

Whilst this humility remains, GANNI are taking clear steps to mitigate their impact on people and the planet, including sourcing more certified, organic and recycled fabrics. I believe it's crucial that shoppers are able to easily identify legitimate sustainability progress like this, so that they can make informed decisions about what to buy.

Greenwash might be public enemy number one, but green hush, where brands are reluctant to share any impact information, poses its own threat to progress. For fashion to become a vehicle for change, more brands must follow GANNI’s lead and proactively share evidence of their responsible sourcing decisions.

Provenance also works with 100+ beauty brands and retailers, including Cult Beauty, Tropic and Naturisimo (pictured).

Cross-sector claims: from clothes to cosmetics

Today’s fashion brands have a duty and an opportunity to educate shoppers about the social and environmental impact of their products. That’s something I believe Provenance is uniquely placed to enable, not only because of the depth of sustainability content we support, but critically, because of our cross-sector approach. If we’re expecting shoppers to become sustainability claims experts sector-by-sector, I fear we’re asking too much – that’s why Provenance-powered claims, known as “Proof Points”, mean the same thing whether shoppers see them off-pack in the grocery aisle, or when buying cosmetics and clothes online.

The fashion industry has been slow to answer the questions ‘who made my clothes?’ and ‘what’s in my clothes?’. But going forward, I’m excited for Provenance to play a part in a movement towards greater transparency as we power fashion brands to deliver shopper-facing sustainability communications. I believe that transparency – when consistently delivered across industries, built on a credible, transparent framework, and underpinned by evidence and independent verification – has the potential to drive needed change.