NA-KD's Head of Sustainability advocates a more transparent industry: "We must be able to talk openly about the challenges"
September 29th, 2021
SWEDEN, Gothenburg – SEPTEMBER 29th, 2021
Anna Winde has been NA-KD's Sustainability Manager since October 2020, commissioned to help NA-KD grow sustainably. Previously, Anna worked for many years on sustainability projects at Volvo Group.
Early on, Anna asked herself the question: "Can fast fashion be climate-sustainable?" She started working backwards and realised, in order for a company to be able to talk about climate sustainability in a credible way, it must calculate its own climate emissions, and then make a plan for how these should be reduced in line with the Paris Agreement. In order to succeed in achieving the goals of sustainability in connection with the Paris Agreement, NA-KD has undertaken the following:
Anna Winde states: “The climate goals of the Paris Agreement are the same for everyone, companies and individuals, and we all need help to get there. NA-KD has an intermediate goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 50% per product sold by 2025. Last year, as much as 82% of a garment's climate impact was linked to how it was manufactured and which materials were used. Therefore, it is important that we put our efforts where it matters. It is also essential that the garments are used for as long as possible.”
The issue of social sustainability, such as wage conditions and working conditions, is also highly important from a sustainability perspective. In addition to all of NA-KD's suppliers signing a Code of Conduct and continuously conducting social audits, NA-KD has signed the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry.
Transparency at the supplier level is also an important issue. This summer, NA-KD introduced a website function that makes it possible for customers to see which factory each product is manufactured in. By 2025, NA-KD aims to be 100% transparent with 80% of the production volume.
“I feel that many in the industry have become better at talking about the challenges of making the fashion industry more sustainable. But still, I was surprised when I entered the industry about a year ago and realised that we had not come any further in terms of hard-working actions. At NA-KD, we have extremely high social and climate goals, and it will require huge efforts and resources to get there. This takes not only cooperation in the industry and with our partners at the supplier level but also that customers are willing to consume fashion in a more sustainable way. Lastly, politicians should create incentives and conditions for profitability in circular business models," continues Anna Winde.
For a fast-growing company like NA-KD, circular business models must take a larger share of the business in order for it to be reasonable to achieve climate goals. That’s why NA-KD introduced the NA-KD Circle platform, a new technology allowing customers to easily buy and sell preloved garments in order to give them a longer life.
Anna Winde adds: “We know how much we have to reduce our CO2 emissions per product sold to achieve our goals in line with the Paris Agreement. We also know that these goals are extremely high, especially as we are a growing company, and that it’s dependent on many things for us to succeed. Therefore, I urge all companies that operate in fast fashion to work in parallel with circular business models to jointly push the industry and customers to change. In that way, we can ensure that we all succeed in line with what’s required.”
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Swedish NA-KD launched in January 2016 with a goal to deliver the latest trends at an affordable price. With a close connection to the biggest influencers in Europe, NA-KD has quickly established itself as a leading fashion player for Millennials and Gen Z. Currently, NA-KD has over 10 million monthly visitors to na-kd.com and 3,3 million followers in social media - making it one of the fastest growing brands in the world. Being truly global, NA-KD delivers the latest trends to more than 100 countries every month and is represented by over 600 retailers world-wide