08 Jul 2024

Leveraging Data for a Sustainable Future

Pure London Speaker

Guest post: Thakane Bazill

With over 8 years of experience in the fashion and apparel industry, Thakane is an expert in sustainable supply chain strategy, business development, and consulting. Her extensive industry knowledge and strong networking skills which make her an invaluable asset to Retraced in promoting sustainable practices within the fashion world.


Thakane will be at Pure London x JATC this year on Monday the 15th July. Her panel will discuss What the DATA? Transform Your Brand’s Sustainability Strategy with Data. Check out the full itinerary and register for your free ticket here.

Leveraging Data for a Sustainable Future in the Fashion Industry

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) managers face unprecedented challenges navigating an increasingly complex regulatory landscape. With new laws addressing forced labor, due diligence, reporting, circularity, and many more, it’s crucial for brands to have a robust sustainability strategy. Central to this strategy is the effective use of data. Here’s why data is indispensable for a brand’s sustainability journey and how it can help overcome the industry's main challenges.

The Main Challenges in the Fashion Industry

1. Regulatory Challenges

The fashion industry is dealing with a flood of new regulations designed to ensure ethical practices and sustainability. Companies must juggle multiple legal requirements, each necessitating extensive data collection from within and outside their organizations. This regulatory complexity calls for a strategic approach to data management to ensure compliance and foster proactive sustainability efforts.

2. Data Issues

While the fashion industry generates vast amounts of data, this information is often fragmented and of inconsistent quality. There is a critical need for standardized systems to manage and utilize this data effectively. Without reliable and integrated data management systems, it is challenging to derive actionable insights that drive sustainability initiatives.

3. Resource Constraints

Projects focusing on traceability and sustainability require substantial human and financial resources. Many companies face significant constraints in this area, making it difficult to launch and sustain essential initiatives. Effective resource allocation is crucial for overcoming these hurdles and ensuring sustainability efforts are impactful and continuous.

4. Time Constraints

Data collection, management, and analysis processes are time-consuming. This inefficiency negatively impacts the industry's ability to quickly meet regulatory requirements and sustainability goals. Accelerating these processes through digitization is essential for timely compliance and meaningful progress.

Addressing the Challenges with Data

To tackle these challenges, companies need to enhance internal coordination and develop comprehensive compliance strategies. Key areas of focus should include:

  • Improving Data Management Systems: Adopting standardized and interoperable systems to manage sustainability data is critical. This ensures data is accurate, consistent, and readily available for analysis and reporting.
  • Enhancing Digitization Efforts: Digitization can significantly speed up data-related processes. By leveraging digital tools, companies can streamline data collection, analysis, and reporting, making it easier to meet regulatory demands and track sustainability progress.
  • Effective Resource Allocation: Companies must strategically allocate resources to sustainability and traceability projects. This involves investing in the right technologies and training personnel to manage and analyze sustainability data effectively.
How Compliance and Sustainability Management Solutions Can Help

A sustainability management solution offers substantial support with these challenges by serving as a central hub for sustainability data:

  • Supply Chain Exploration and Traceability: Enabling detailed visibility into the supply chain, ensuring transparency and ethical practices.
  • ESG Data Collection: Utilizing questionnaires and other tools to gather environmental, social, and governance data.
  • Risk Analysis and Corrective Actions: Identifying potential risks and implementing preventive measures collaboratively with business partners.
  • Data Disclosure: Simplifying the reporting process through Digital Product Passports and other reporting tools, ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations.

By incorporating all legislative requirements into its system, such a solution enables companies to navigate the complex regulatory landscape efficiently. This centralized approach to data management not only ensures compliance but also drives continuous improvement in sustainability practices.


For CSR managers in the fashion industry, data is the cornerstone of a robust sustainability strategy. By addressing regulatory, data, resource, and time challenges through effective data management and digitization, companies can make significant strides toward sustainability. Compliance and sustainability management solutions like Retraced provide the necessary tools to integrate and manage this data seamlessly, ensuring compliance and fostering a sustainable future for the fashion industry. Embracing these strategies is not just a regulatory necessity but a business imperative for a more ethical and sustainable world.


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