Make no mistake, this is not an easy challenge. It requires taking an eco-system approach to practically every step of the supply chain - from raw material - through manufacturing all the way to post-consumption processes. In my thesis at Pratt Institute I explored this challange and how it can help pull together a dormant industry such as the Leather industry - from a design management perspective.
By identifying internal and external issues related to this multi-billion dollar industry and their impact on three fundamental levels: people, planet and profit, a design management perspective was offered with recommendations to help solve some of the critical issues in the industry's value chain.
The bullet point summary for implementing change on such a profound level includes:
- Implementing of a global labeling program - and setting worldwide standards
- Implementing traceability systems to track the product's entire life cycle.
- Accepting certification programs to build trust.
- Investing in consumer education - awareness is the key to change.
Positive change across the entire value chain will create opportunities for sustainable competitive advantage and address environmental, social, and economic issues on a global scale.
If you are interested in reading the white paper please do not hesitate to ask.