Summary: Retail giant Walmart has adopted ambitious sustainability initiatives that are slowly but surely making a difference in the way goods are produced, sourced, and sold. The company's progress in sustainable textile production and eco-conscious supply chain is making a good example for other retailers to understand and develop more sustainable trade practices as well. Explore some of Walmart’s best sustainable trade initiatives that are relevant to fashion companies and can encourage the fashion industry to adopt similar sustainable methods.
The American multinational retail corporation Walmart has been in the public eye for striving to achieve a completely sustainable supply chain. While not all of its efforts have paid off on the very first try, the retail giant is learning from its defeats and coming back stronger with better solutions to reach its sustainability goals. The company’s constant efforts to make the ways goods are produced, sourced and sold more sustainable also challenge the way other retailers do business.
These sustainable initiatives taken on by Walmart are urging other retail giants to do the same or better. Even in the textile and gadget production space, Walmart has shown progress in achieving a greener supply chain that has less to no impact on the environment. Here’s how fashion companies can get inspired by Walmart’s sustainability initiatives.
In 2005, Walmart declared publicly that the company aims to become more committed to achieving sustainability within its supply chain through its initiative called Sustainability 360. This sustainable business initiative focuses on reducing the company’s carbon footprint. The initiative also encourages its manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and other stakeholders within its supply chain, including its customers around the world, to reduce its carbon footprint as well.
Ever since then, Walmart has made changes to reach its sustainability goals. The company has begun sourcing its energy supply from renewable sources. It has also worked towards attaining zero waste in its supply chain and opted to sell products that help sustain the environment.
Walmart reached out to its external stakeholders within its supply chain to get them on the sustainability train. The retail giant began by first identifying the areas that are responsible for the maximum of the company’s environmental impact. After identifying these areas, the corporation then went on to invite the stakeholders associated with those areas to join in on their sustainable value networks to work towards bringing on environmental sustainability in those areas.
There might not be a shortage in the supply of cotton, but cotton farming is responsible for creating tons of pollution every year. Walmart identified this issue and tailored its business strategy to include a more sustainable cotton textile supply chain that has a reduced impact on the environment.
Since organic cotton farming is far less of a hindrance to the environment and field workers’ health than regular cotton farming, Walmart has been committed to producing and selling only organic cotton products. To encourage customers to buy organic cotton products, Walmart marketed the products well by emphasizing factors like softness and the chemical-free nature of organic cotton products.
Naturally, the price points of organic cotton products are also higher than regular cotton products as the quality is far better and the labor charges are higher. Even the processes required to procure organic cotton products sustainability drive up the price points. But the way Walmart positioned these products to sell was by advertising how organic cotton products are healthier not just for the environment but for the customer’s own health and that of their loved ones as well. Consequently, Walmart managed to secure high sales of organic cotton baby clothes as compared to other organic cotton products on their shelves.
This example proves that customers are willing to spend more on products that are healthy and safer for themselves and their families. On the other side, many eco-conscious consumers would rather shell out more bucks on sustainable products rather than invest in cheap products that are harmful to the environment.
Observing Walmart’s progress in moving towards a more sustainable business model can inspire many more retailers to also adopt similar or better trade practices. According to Walmart’s sustainable achievements explored here, fashion companies can also develop a more sustainable supply chain and use marketing and advertising tools to push consumers to purchase products that are more sustainable and gentler on the environment.
Fashniza offers sustainable supply chain solutions to fashion companies so that the fashion industry can move towards a more sustainable future. Fashniza also offers complete transparency on the entire production process so that brands can be assured that sustainability laws are being maintained throughout the product life cycle.
Visit Fashinza.com to make your fashion company more sustainable and eco-friendly.