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SloWeAre: Auditing Sustainability in Fashion and Luxury

Published 22 Jul 2020
Reference 6599
Industry Retail
Region Europe
Summary

The case illustrates the founding and growth of SloWeAre, the first eco-certification company in France that embraces the methodology eco-fashion brands employ on their journey towards producing socially responsible and environmentally sound textile products. By 2020, the four-year diagnostic service had attracted more than 75 French eco-fashion brands to the SloWeAre platform. By participating in SloWeAre’s annual audit, these eco-fashion brands prove that they have embedded an end-to-end sustainable process throughout their supply chain that translates into a complete range of certifiable products that eco-consumers can trust. The SloWeAre label helps eco-consumers know the difference between brands that offer just one or two eco-friendly products in their lineup and those that take a holistic approach. SloWeAre presents an alternative for small independent eco-fashion brands looking to save money by sewing in a single-use label that goes directly to who they are and not just what products they sell. In so doing, the sustainable process that SloWeAre advocates presents an ingenious solution to a key challenge facing modest eco-fashion brands without the deep pockets to justify their product lineup with the extreme granularity beloved of retail giants.

Teaching objectives

The case takes a start-up in the French fashion sector and reveals how it successfully created value in a crowded eco-fashion niche market. The three-page case offers instructors a quick but instructive device to move the conversation about sustainability into a real-life discussion about a couple’s entrepreneurial solution borne out of passion, resourcefulness and pragmatism. The easy-to-read case can nudge students into grappling with the changing lifestyles that have been engendered by eco-friendly communities without getting encumbered by strictures. The eco-fashion matrix is stripped of its complexity and rendered into key talking points that instructors can amplify in courses covering luxury and fashion management, entrepreneurship, family business and sustainable development.

Keywords
  • eco-fashion
  • supply chain
  • SDGs
  • fashion management
  • luxury
  • creativity
  • eco-certification
  • eco-consumers
  • fibres
  • leadership
  • SloWeAre
  • France
  • eco-conscious
  • textile industry
  • Q32020