The Fashion Economy

Sustainable, powerful fashion transformation in the ‘new normal’


Luca Tonello, Sales Director | Q&A "Powerful transformation beyond the pandemic"


During an interview included in the "Fashion Economy" report published last July in association with the British Fashion Council and Digital Fashion Week Europe and distributed in "The Times" newspaper, Luca Tonello, Sales Director at Dedagroup Stealth, explained how technology can transform the Fashion Industry and transform the impact of brands on the environment.


What are the main sustainability challenges for fashion brands?

Water consumption, carbon emissions and ethical production. The industry uses around 1.5 trillion litres of water annually and generates roughly 23 kilogrammes of greenhouse gases for every kilogramme of clothing produced, while there are important questions around employee conditions across the global supply chain. Luxury brands may buy ‘sustainable’ materials but struggle to audit suppliers. Fast fashion brands may find it tough to cheaply source sustainably and ethically. Online brands’ high return rates augment the carbon damage from goods delivery. There is a long way ahead for the right business models, supported by technology.

Are these pressures likely to increase quickly?

Yes. The fashion industry has complex processes, among the most harmful to the environment in terms of carbon emissions, water usage and wastage. While there are still only a few formal regulations targeting the sector’s sustainability, we expect many more as initiatives are formulated globally. The industry knows to change before being compelled. In mature markets, consumer behavior is further pressuring transformation.

What response are you seeing from fashion houses?

Beyond initial commitments, brands are now embedding sustainability with dedicated teams. There are also significant industry initiatives such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, raw materials data’s HIGG index. The UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion and the 2019 Fashion Pact aimed at improving employee conditions and environmental impact. But fashion businesses struggle to consolidate and interpret the raft of internal and supplier data, often relying on spreadsheets. Without the right tools, it is impossible to achieve.

How can technology be used to transform sustainability?

Having the right technology is essential in tracking and measurement, beginning with the traceability of materials and evaluation of production suppliers, and carrying on through the business to the consumer. Technology that collects and analyses this data well is an enabler of circular, sustainable business models. It helps companies manage and understand information across entire lifecycles of products, empowering better choices. The right tools must be actively embedded into regular workflows to maximize impact.

How does Dedagroup Stealth help?

We are completely focused on the fashion market. Our Stealth® Platform is used by 60% of the top iconic Italian brands and now contains an advanced sustainability module, which collates standardized data from the Higg Index, augmenting it with businesses’ own sustainability information and key performance indicators. By integrating this into all workflows, we enable companies to consistently make the right choices. Fashion brands across Europe are using Stealth, the Fashion Platform to manage their processes along the supply chain and distribution channels, and also to measure sustainability. They include Fendi, whose dedicated team has moved from manual data uploads to our analytical dashboards empowering sustainability across clothing, shoes and leather goods. For all fashion brands, the future lies in introducing sustainable business models enabled by accurate and transparent technology.


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