Episode 88: The Shift to Carbon Insetting: A New Paradigm in Sustainable Fashion
Hello and welcome to episode 88 of the Fashion Unearthed podcast. Today I wanted to talk about a slight shift in how businesses, well a small number of businesses are starting to look at carbon offsets. But before I get stuck into that, I wanted to mention that the availability for my free discovery calls are filling up fast. I'll be taking two weeks off over the Christmas break, returning on the 9th of January. So if you are wanting to get moving on some goals and need some help to do that, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can book in a time to have a chat about some of the ways I can help you reach those goals.
So, insetting versus offsetting the main difference between carbon insetting and carbon offsetting is that carbon insetting refers to implementing methods to reduce emissions internally, so looking at your own supply chain and how you can directly influence those emissions, whereas carbon offsetting is when a company doesn't really change too much and they seek to reduce the emissions externally in order to compensate for their own excessive emissions. So, like I said, they don't really change much internally. They look to be able to offset those externally by buying carbon credits. An example of a brand that is starting to do this is the Copenhagen-born brand Ganni, with the founder saying that “we stopped compensating for our carbon footprint, we put aside that money and saved it up for investments in bringing down the carbon footprint of our supply chain, making actual reductions along our supply chain”, which is aligning to what climate experts have repeatedly said that fashion has relied on carbon offsetting too much and the industry has neglected the more necessary work of decarbonising its own supply chain. So the science is very clear that supply chain emissions are the single most important issue for the industry to address, which means that brands need to work with supply chain partners collaboratively, putting their money where their mouth or their ESG reports are, so to speak.
But making those structural changes to reduce those emissions requires significant levels of investment to move to renewable energy and upgrade certain types of equipment, and many suppliers have well, they don't have the resources for that, or the incentive to undertake the investments on their own. And so brands thinking and operating in this way are few and far between. So Ganni, investing in building a solar plant in partnership with a long-time supply in Portugal that makes its cotton t-shirts, is a strong investment in decarbonising the supply chain. But what we need now is more brands to be able to adopt this approach and for it to become the norm.
Really, like I said, making those changes can be over two, three years and require significant investment, and at the moment the landscape or business relationship between brands and suppliers is quite uncertain. We are in uncertain times. The global landscape is very uncertain economically and politically so it is a bold move, I think, from Garni to be able to invest in that supplier and help them to transition.
So I hope that's helped you understand a little bit more terminology that's getting thrown around in the fashion or sustainable fashion landscape, and perhaps it might get you thinking about how you can adopt more of this approach in your business as well. Don't forget if you are keen to have a conversation about your business needs before Christmas, get in touch with the email address email@example.com and, as always, you'll find the show notes at any links for today's episode on the website belindahumphrey.com in the podcast section. Thanks so much for reading. See you next time.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort is made to ensure that information is accurate at the time of recording, much like the fashion industry itself, this information may change.