Interview with Allanna McAspurn

Allanna McAspurn
Allanna McAspurn

Sustainability is about long-term, trusted partnerships
Made-by, a UK based consultancy service provider in the field of sustainability and fashion, has been serving the fashion and apparel brands since the last ten years. Its latest addition to its list of tools and services include Mode Tracker, a consultancy framework for brands to measure and improve their sustainability score. Allanna McAspurn, CEO of Made-by talks about Mode Tracker in detail along with issues and plus-points in the fashion and apparel sector of Europe with respect to sustainability in an interview with Fibre2Fashion.com

What exactly is Mode Tracker? How does it work and what is its USP?

Mode Tracker is consultancy know-how. It pulls a brand’s information together in very simple visual highlighting both strengths and weaknesses. These visuals are standardised and made public every year, so it’s also easy for both – the brand and their stakeholders to see how they are progressing over time. Moreover, it’s all independently verified. There are eight areas, or cubes, that are assessed: people, product, manufacturing, packaging and transport, own operations, use and durability, product waste and transparency. Companies must choose product and people plus minimum of one other. Each cube is broken down into three ascending levels: 1) build foundation and set ambition; 2) make steady progress and 3) adopt best industry practice. Brands or retailers that demonstrate outstanding industry leadership receive special commendation, indicated by a flag icon. In addition to the visuals made public, a brand also receives detailed drill-down of their performance in each cube, gets the gaps in their strategy highlighted and knows what they need to do to improve. So, in addition to communicating performance, it also can provide the backbone to a brand’s strategy.

Please share some insights into the costs involved for brands in order to deploy Mode Tracker.

We work with brands of all sizes at all the costs. It is dependent on the turnover.

Please give details of the various tools and services you offer with respect to sustainability in the fashion and apparel industry.

We offer a number of tools that can benefit the brand with respect to sustainability, like we have a wet processing score card which helps in measuring environmental impact, water and energy in the wet processing process. It also helps in keeping a track of the various toxins in the process. We have an environmental score card for fibres, which is used by H&M for their Conscious Collection. Our latest addition is the Mode Tracker, which is an evolution of our previous partnership scorecard. Mode Tracker is designed to transparently communicate a brand’s holistic performance and shows their progress year on year.

Which European brands adhere to sustainability principles the foremost? Please name some.

Now, all the brands need to have a code of conduct on labour, and they need to be compliant. Most brands now have their basics covered, and some brands are significantly leading in this area. H&M, for example, are aiming towards a 100 per cent transparency and have a very holistic sustainability strategy. G-Star, which has adopted the Mode Tracker process, are doing a lot of work in their manufacturing processes, making all – themselves and their suppliers accountable. They are putting all the information from their factories in public domain. They are also a part of the Zero Discharge Chemicals Group. We have also worked with Tommy Hilfiger in Europe for quite some years, and I feel that they have a very clear and solid environmental strategy in place. In the UK, I am proud of the work that we are doing around Ted Baker. They did not communicate too much in the public domain until recently, but they are very committed to doing the right thing and to progressing in sustainability.
Published on: 01/04/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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