Chapter 2 – Sustainability & Unconventional Approaches
My name’s Derek Sabori and as the former VP of Sustainability at Volcom, brands like New Balance, Billabong, RVCA, Quiksilver, Zumiez, and Blue Tomato have entrusted me to help build and strengthen their sustainability programs.
In my last post, and the first chapter in this installment, I outlined a problem: “Sustainability” has historically been a sideline topic rather than one that’s integrated into each role at most companies and so it’s typically looked at as a burden and an “added cost;” rarely a priority.
That said, I’ve worked with a variety of brands in this space, and I can tell you that your people are eager to be a part of the solution. They just don’t know where to start, what questions to ask, or even sometimes which way is up when it comes to sustainability-speak and the climate impacts in our supply chains. So, where to start?
That’s where we come in. I built The Underswell as a sustainability school for brands. A movement to accelerate sustainability and climate action in the apparel industry through education, motivation, inspiration, and resources.
So I’d say, let us be your place to start.
Our aim is to make sustainability culture at your organization with expert sustainability training for your team, so your brand can confidently and competently be a part of that movement.
Unlike traditional consulting, we prioritize access to knowledge and insights, so that your people are empowered to take the action necessary to make your brand a more sustainable brand. Transformations like this get us one step closer to future generations having the same opportunities that we had to build great brands and products but in new and better ways.
Well, here’s something else that is unconventional, and dare I say, inefficient and counterproductive: For too long too many of us have been trying to put sustainability initiatives into action before we even have the resources to do so, or even understand whether or not those resources that we found are the right ones.
So, we then go into scramble mode, Googling, asking around, bringing in consultants, and trying to work through all the claims, standards, acronyms, and terms that we’d all perhaps heard of, but never really had to actually grapple with. You know, things like biodiversity, regeneration, emissions, IPCC, 1.5 degrees, ZDHC, Net Zero, and more.
My aim is to reverse that cycle that we’re in. This means I take an Educate – Empower – Activate approach;
- Build knowledge first (Educate),
- Layer on resources so your team is (Empower)ed, and then
- Watch them properly put solutions into action (Activate).
If we haven’t met, I’ll tell you that I was the VP of Sustainability at Volcom, worked under the guidance of Kering, and have worked with small start-up brands, SMEs, and publicly traded companies…and I can say with confidence that sustainability & climate action EDUCATION is key to success with activation, which is needed now more than ever.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be recommending more things for your team to do to become a part of the solution, so stay tuned to see where we go from here.
Spoiler Alert: If you read the header, you know where I’m going 🙂 Eager to get started? Scan the QR code here and get access to my free download:
BTW I’ll be at Surf Expo teaching a Sustainability 101 class. Will you be there!? Interested in sustainability training for your team? This link and/or QR code takes you straight to a booking calendar now or at Surf Expo.