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Sustainability and the future of retail

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Textile and Garment Sector Webinar Series

The rise of sustainable fashion is a key trend and one that is promising to transform how the apparel industry operates. HSBC recently hosted a webinar featuring a panel of experts to explore how businesses are adapting to the demand for sustainable goods and supply chains and what the apparel industry can do to accelerate the change towards sustainable fashion.

Sustainability and the future of retail in the apparel industry

27 August 2020

Speakers

  • Jonathan Drew, Managing Director, ESG Solutions, Global Banking Asia Pacific, HSBC
  • Sharika Senanayake, Director, Environmental Sustainability, MAS Holdings
  • Mohammed A Jabbar, Managing Director, DBL Group
  • David Harrity, Head of Growth Propositions, Commercial Banking, HSBC
  • [Facilitator] Alan Ho, Senior Communications Manager, Commercial Banking Asia Pacific, HSBC

Sustainable fashion has been gaining momentum in recent years. Consumers are becoming more conscientious about the products they buy and as a result manufacturers, retailers and brands are rethinking their approach to sustainability. At the same time, the banking industry is supporting this transition through the provision of sustainable finance solutions. These trends are signalling a transformation of the retail landscape and major shifts in the priorities of the industry.

Key takeaways from Jonathan Drew, Managing Director, ESG Solutions, Global Banking Asia Pacific, HSBC, on the sustainable finance and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) trends in the textile and garment industry.

  • The textile and garment industry is responsible for around 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of all water pollution, making the sector ripe for more sustainable ways of operating.1
  • A more sustainable industry means greater welfare and economic opportunities as well as better health and wellness for its employees globally.
  • Sustainable finance has a key role to play in providing loans to finance green capital goods and trade solutions for incentivising investment in more sustainable supply chains.
  • Green loans and sustainability-linked loans saw USD180 billion in transactions in 2019 and are on track to exceed this volume in 2020.2
  • Companies with high ESG ratings are proving more resilient than those with lower ratings, signalling a market incentive to adopt ESG principles and practices.

Key insights from the panel discussion with Sharika Senanayake, Director, Environmental Sustainability, MAS Holdings, Mohammed A Jabbar, Managing Director, DBL Group and David Harrity, Head of Growth Propositions, Commercial Banking, HSBC, on the trend of sustainable fashion and how the industry is adapting as a result.

  • Sustainability is increasingly seen as a strategy for building resilience, given how the impact of COVID-19 revealed the vulnerability of the apparel industry to external shocks.
  • Sustainability is a long-term strategy and requires alignment with a company’s business strategies which over time can produce competitive advantages.
  • Suppliers are seeing an increase in disclosure requirements as the imperative around sustainability strengthens.
  • Access to finance is a key issue for manufacturers, the lack of which prohibits investment in greener manufacturing equipment and factories. Banks have a central role to play in helping manufacturers to overcome this barrier.
  • HSBC has committed USD100 billion in sustainable financing by 2025 to develop clean energy, low-carbon technologies, and projects that contribute to the meeting of the Paris Climate Agreement targets and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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