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Retail Industry Updates Supply Chain Industry Updates

Surf’s Up, and So Are Consumer Expectations

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J.Crew

Summer is almost around the corner, and J.Crew’s website is promoting its swimwear lines. That’s SOP for a clothing retailer whose customers are looking forward to having fun in the sun, particularly after the long lockdown of COVID-19.

But the company isn’t trying to get consumers’ attention with just flattering designs and attractive colors and patterns. J.Crew’s promo copy makes clear that its “eco swimsuits are crafted from an environmentally friendly fabric that incorporates recycled materials.”

Clearly, these are not your dad’s swim trunks.

J.Crew and its peers are well aware that many shoppers today care about a product’s environmental and social footprint, and will consider a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability goals and practices when deciding where to spend their dollars. Price usually wins, as we know, but a demonstration of a company’s conscience could sway a purchase decision.

“According to a recent study, 81% of supply chain professionals said their companies were more focused today on sustainability than three years ago,” Mike Sinkovitz, a senior vice president at Coyote Logistics, wrote in Supply Chain Best Practices earlier this year. “The survey also revealed 61% of consumers were willing to wait longer for delivery of their purchases if they knew it’s better for the environment. Therefore, there’s a huge opportunity for members of the supply chain to prioritize these initiatives early on to meet the evolving expectations of their customers.”

“There are many areas of sustainability that are in our power to impact positively, including tackling issues deeper in our supply chain.”

Clearly interested in taking advantage of that huge opportunity, J.Crew this week announced the launch of the “Re-imagined by J.Crew” initiative. The program commits it to achieving these sustainability goals by 2025:

  • Fabrics, Re-imagined — 100% of key fibers in its clothing will be sustainably sourced, including 100 percent of cotton.
     
  • Factories, Re-imagined — More than 90% of J.Crew cashmere and chino collections will be produced in Fair Trade Certified™ facilities.
     
  • Operations, Re-imagined — 100% of plastic and paper used for packaging will be sustainably sourced. J.Crew said it is committed to eliminating virgin plastic from all packaging and pledges to make its operations 100% carbon neutral by 2030.

“We know there are many areas of sustainability that are in our power to impact positively, including tackling issues deeper in our supply chain and supporting the industry’s transition to circularity,” CEO Libby Wadle said. “By activating our employees, partnering with our stakeholders and listening to our customers, we are developing strategies to address the issues that will have the biggest impact on our products, supply chain and the apparel industry.”

J.Crew is partnering with stakeholders in and out of its supply chain to help it reach its goals. For instance, it is collaborating with suppliers to decrease greenhouse gas impact based on a science-based target. It also participates in the CanopyStyle initiative to conserve the world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests.

It’s a safe bet Dad didn’t think about the rainforest when he picked up the trunks with the Budweiser logos at Sears all those years ago. But you and your customers probably do, and you can click here to learn more about what J.Crew is doing about it.

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