In this latest edition of FashMash Pioneers, we welcomed sustainability leader John Elkington to talk about driving change in the exponential decade we're in.
Once named 4th in an international survey of Top 100 CSR leaders, after Al Gore, Barack Obama and Anita Roddick, we were honoured to host this author and serial entrepreneur to discuss the fashion sector.
His view is about a new form of capitalism - regenerative in nature - and about the 'Green Swans' and collective actions required along that journey. He has strong views on everything from rethinking the "Triple Bottom Line" approach that he himself introduced in the 1990s, and recalled in 2018, through to how we can all play a part towards progress.
Watch the full video back via YouTube above, and read on for some of the highlights below...
ON REGENERATIVE CAPITALISM
“Whether we like it or not our economies, our societies and our communities, our politics, our biosphere, they're all wobbling, they're all showing acute signs of stress and distress, and a lot of are people scrambling to try and work out how many billions we have to spend in order to prop these things up. For me, the only way to ensure long term resilience is to regenerate the systems that are affected whether they're economic, social, political, environmental, whatever."
ON THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
“Government plays an incredibly important steering function and guidance function. Whether it chooses to do that effectively or not is another matter. I don't think we're saying, at any point, business can do this alone. Business has to work with civil society, with financial markets, with governments at every different level."
ON FASHION'S PROGRESS
“We've got to get rid of fossil fuels, we've got to get rid of toxic chemicals, and I think fashion can play an important role in getting people to think about that... [But] I still don't feel that the rhetoric is translating, at least so far into proper progress, effective progress, timely progress, progress at scale into some of the areas that I think the fashion industry now needs to move into.”
“I don't think there's one button in any business, in a boardroom, in a C-suite, that you can press and have everything working in the right direction. This is a mindset shift and it's a cultural shift, and that does not come easily."
He also left us with two sci-fi book recommendations:
- The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson
- Dune by Frank Herbert
FashMash Pioneers is sponsored by Klaviyo.