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Cikis Report 2020

We have recently published the 2020 Fashion and Sustainability Report, in which we have investigated the level of integration and communication of sustainability practices between brands and supply chain. 

We have interviewed founders, management and owners of 83 Italian SMEs.

73% of the 83 companies interviewed have already integrated some sustainability practices, but only 39% of the companies have adequate technical skills. This means that critical elements are left out. Currently, SMEs rely almost exclusively on internal skills and supplier proposals; the result is a high focus on materials, which are fundamental, but which alone are not enough. Other key aspects to compete in a global market such as traceability, energy, chemical processes along the supply chain are left out.

Environmental and social sustainability is more and more critical for competitiveness and survival: think of the impact that the new Farfetch project will have on the market, which has started to publicly inform buyers of the environmental impact of the garments and to promote the most sustainable.

Italian companies that invest in this issue could have a competitive advantage given by the link between sustainability and quality, a feature that has always been recognized in Italian manufacturing. Although companies are moving in this direction, more skills will still be needed.

A complete approach to sustainability issues is essential not only to protect our planet, but also to obtain a competitive advantage: companies that are already at a good level of sustainability have had on average more positive experience than those who are still at the beginning. Furthermore, those who are more active, perceive less the problem of costs. This may be due to the fact that, once sustainability is constantly addressed, the complexity decreases; or the market gives such feedbacks that make the issue of costs less relevant.

 By investing in those skills, it is possible to better respond to the demands of an increasingly attentive global market; it is also easier to identify and enhance strengths that are too often taken for granted and avoid reputational risks linked to inaccurate and fallacious communication.

The complete report can be downloaded here: