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Adopting Sustainable Innovation

by Ella Nwagbo

Globalization, new technologies and climate change are continuously merging to upend the business environment and are giving many CEOs a deeper sense of accountability. According to Standford Social Innovation Review “more than 90 percent of CEOs state that sustainability is important to their company’s success” and this trend will not abate anytime soon. Most companies are now realizing how their response to the subject will have a profound impact on their competitiveness and perhaps even their organizations’ survival.

The quest for sustainability is transforming the competitive landscape, encouraging companies to integrate eco-friendly principles into their business models and embrace the act of reduction, repair, reuse, recycling and innovative processes.
The combination of fashion and sustainability encompasses a new generation offering that leads revenue growth and profitability, while encouraging innovation and stability.

Today, the two terms – sustainability and innovation – are the most accurate descriptors of what is happening in the industry and marketplace. Fashion brands are now placing strategic bets on innovation in energy efficiency, renewable power, resource productivity, recycling and pollution control.
In 2019, he launched VISORE LAB – an experiential luxury platform that infuses interactivity, innovative commerce and storytelling. Using his fused artistic background, he creates compelling editorials and videos to strengthen communications between brands and consumers.

Nowadays, it is more accurate for brands to see innovation as an evolving process. Innovation is the creation of new goods and services, processes, technologies, markets, and ways of organization that offer alternatives with the intention of better meeting people’s needs and improving their lives.
More frequently than not, a company becomes more innovative because it is compelled to stay relevant to consumers and to pursue a new market opportunity. An exemplary illustration is one in which the company is influenced by its engagement with conditions and circumstances from which an initiative successfully combines with an evolving market opportunity. An innovator thus forges new paths and challenges traditional ways of doing things, creating new processes that lead to new technologies, products, services and operating practices.

In an industry largely governed by capitalist tendencies, profit has been the major factor that pushes brands to innovate, however, tides are changing, and sustainability is now the key driver of brand innovation. Today, many brands are consciously responding to market shifts to increase competitive positioning by incorporating the concept of sustainability into their preexisting business strategies. They are doing so by pursuing goals that go far beyond earlier concern for reputation management — for example, saving energy, developing green products, retaining and motivating employees, all of which help brands capture value through growth and return on capital.
Sustainability is also involved in the development process by prioritizing the benign use of resources and materials, a decreased carbon footprint and by eliminating inequitable social impacts related to the operations of the company. According to Harvard Business Review “over the past 10 years, environmental issues have steadily encroached on businesses’ capacity to create value for customers”.

Adopting sustainable innovation will not only address the challenges of environmental degradation but will also create a win – win situation for people and businesses. This will occur by bringing in new ecological ways to meet demands and create market opportunities. In a nutshell, the sustainable innovation approach generates long-term business value by taking into consideration how an organization functions in the ecological, social and economic environment.

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