Please join our discussion about  “The New Age of Sustainable Clothing”

Date: Tuesday, October 1st
Time: 6:00 PM
Host Location: QuickSuites
 7th Floor
 79 Madison Avenue
 New York, NY 10016

This month’s fashion networking event will feature a brief talk given by to help companies in communicating sustainability to consumers in the sustainable clothing initiatives for 20 minutes, followed by Q&A. Shortly  the team from A Clean Future. ACF is conducting a market assessment fashion world. The team will discuss the project and trends in thereafter there will be open networking for about a half hour.

To Register: Email  Sara Grillo sgrillo@thelcogroup.com

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Written by Maye Walraven, Edited by Patrick Duffy and Natalie Tang

New York, NY — During the past decade, sustainability has revolutionized the way food and automobile industries operate and inform consumers about their products. The food industry developed organic practices and fair trade labels. The auto industry emphasizes innovative, efficient and clean technologies to enable consumers to make more Eco-conscious decisions. However the typically Avant-garde fashion industry is lagging behind when it comes to adopting and communicating sustainability trends. Several recent events triggered a push to place sustainability closer to the top of fashion industry’s priorities.

The emergence of fast-fashion has transformed our relation to clothesACF-Survey-photo. Lower prices and faster turnover (hence the term “fast-fashion”) are effectively making apparel more disposable than ever. The recurrence of tragedies such as the Bangladesh factory collapse which cost over a thousand lives raises questions concerning worker conditions and fashion industry production practices in general.  So, what is really the state of the fashion industry’s relationship with sustainability?

Our research at A Clean Future (ACF) so far reveals there are very large disparities in the level of engagement and efforts dedicated to sustainability from different actors in fashion.  A handful of outstanding companies, most of which are part of the Sustainability Apparel Coalition, are leading the way and have managed to fully incorporate the concept of sustainability into their business models. A larger group of followers, generally motivated by risk mitigation, are taking their first steps towards sustainability by reviewing both their own performances and their supply chain’s compliance with legislation.

Sustainable fashion houses have been on developing value chain indices capable of communicating sustainability data (e.g., water consumption, GHG emissions, toxics and social welfare) throughout the entire supply chain, from farmers to end-consumers. The objective of such indices is ultimately to empower consumers to pick the most virtuous products and thus pressure the entire value chain to adopt more sustainable practices. To date, a few companies, including Nike and Timberland, have started using such indices. Although significant efforts have been invested in the data collection process and on increasing transparency levels across supply chains, little attention has been dedicated to the final step, which may be the most important: communicating credible product level sustainability information to consumers.

ACF will launch a white paper that explains these findings and recommendations for other companies to develop effective communication strategies for sustainability efforts.

Share your ideas by taking our survey!

Findings will also be shared through webinars and blog up-dates, so keep following our progress!

A Clean Future kicked off the summer season with a panel on Sustainable Breweries at Green Spaces NY. An introduction of our Sustainable Breweries white paper highlighted some of our favorite best practices for sustainable brewing which was followed by a panel discussion. Panelists included Eric Ottaway, General Manager at Brooklyn Brewery; Kai Olson-Sawyer, Senior Research and Policy Analyst of Grace Communications Foundation, Waterfootprint expert for brewers, and Caleb Stratton of PlanSustainable, Eco-certification expert for craft brewers.

Breweries touch on so many aspects of supply chain management: the growing process of wheat, barley, hops, etc., water supply, and sourcing/reusing raw materials there is great potential for brewers, and especially craft brewers to make a positive impact.The informal discussion included questions from audience members. What sets sustainable them apart from the rest? Their ability to stay creative in not just managing their raw materials, but also finding ways to capitalize on waste.

For more information, check out updates from Grace Communications Foundation and CRISP. Also, check out our white paper here. Special thanks to Brooklyn Brewery for providing the beer for this event, and making it an enjoyable experience by all.

Sustainable Brewery Event at Green Spaces. What a great crowd!

Sustainable Brewery Event at Green Spaces. What a great crowd!

Stay tuned on what we are up to – check out our twitter page, @acleanfuture and our live twitter feed from the event – #sustainablebeer.

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ACF, Net Impact NYC, and Green Spaces at Brooklyn Brewery

We learned a lot about the Brooklyn Brewery during our previous visit with Eric Ottaway, General Manager of Brooklyn Brewery (check out our blog post!) but we had to see it (and taste it) for ourselves. On Wednesday, October 17 we teamed up with Net Impact New York City’s Professional Chapter and our friends at Green Spaces to tour the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg, NY.

Tour leaders Erin and Justin greeted us at the big red doors and invited us to the tasting. As Erin poured samples of the likes of Brooklyn Defender and Big Bottled Local 1 in take home souvenir glasses, Justin peppered us with facts and anecdotes of the brew. They filled us in on sustainable components of the tasting room.  For example, all cleaning agents used are green, the floors use atomized water in a small Zamboni rather than cleansers, and the cups are compostable. They also explained that our delicious, clean New York water makes for finer brew than other aquifers.

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Acting sustainably seems to come naturally to Eric Ottaway, General Manager at Brooklyn Brewery, a privately owned craft brewery with manufacturing facilities in the heart of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York and in Utica, upstate New York. Eric Ottaway joined A Clean Future for our monthly webinar to discuss Brooklyn Brewery’s sustainability efforts and approach.Brooklyn Brewery Logo

“Acting sustainably seems so obvious, we just do it. We don’t need a financial case to tell us that,” said Ottaway.

Because they are a privately-owned business, Brooklyn Brewery can examine their sustainability efforts from a long-run perspective. The potential to receive financial returns, or more generally benefit the community makes it worth the up-front investment.

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As organizations begin to prioritize environmental performance of operations, particularly in industries such as manufacturing, publishing, technology providers, information management and process control, certain changes are critical to successful environmental performance – not only within the organization, but also throughout the value chain. Identifying what those changes should be, measuring, tracking, and improving performance can be challenging. The added layer of publicizing and reporting performance, as well as sharing insights with shareholders further contribute to the complexity of sustainability efforts.

WeSustain offers an integrated software solution to minimize the complexity of sustainability management. Sebastian Ungar, Vice President Sales at WeSustain shared with the A Clean Future an introduction to the Sustainability Enterprise Management system. He discussed its capabilities and how it covers multiple aspects of sustainability management: stakeholder engagement, materiality matrices, a balanced scorecard for managing sustainability performance, data management and reporting into different standards such as GRI, ISO and others.

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The Carbon Disclosure Project is the largest collection globally of self-reported climate change data. Since 2000, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has been working toward a vision of accelerating solutions to climate change and water management by putting relevant environmental information at the heart of business, policy and investment decisions.

Pamela Lilak, Advisory Manager in the Sustainable Business Solutions group at PwC in New York City, oversees the scoring and report-writing for the S&P 500 companies for CDP. During this month’s A Clean Future (ACF) Forum, Pamela provided an overview of the CDP, what it is like for companies to participate, and highlighted some best practices as presented at the annual CDP Spring Workshop in March 2012.

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