ESG Outlook is Sourcing Journal’s discussion series with industry executives to get their take on their company’s latest environmental, social and governance initiatives and their own personal efforts toward sustainability. In this Q&A, Filippo Pampagnin, strategy and marketing director of textile chemical company Bozzetto Group, discusses giving “green activities” the right visibility, so they are not taken for granted.
Name: Filippo Pampagnin
Title: Strategy and Marketing director
Company: Bozzetto Group
What do you consider to be your company’s best ESG-related achievement over the last 5 years?
As a textile chemical company, our commitment to sustainability is a daily task, more than a to-do list. The superb interaction with our customers allows us to improve our products continuously with a hands-on approach to provide our concrete solutions to the textile industry.
We work on three primary targets: One, remove any hazardous substance: we constantly develop products that don’t represent a risk for people and the environment or that proficiently replace current harmful substances. Two, minimize the energy and water consumption by our customer, developing products that optimize their processes. One of our best sellers is a catalyst for hydrogen peroxide that allows cellulosic fibers and blends’ bleaching process at 70°C, with a significant saving of time and energy. Three, we are deeply involved in responsible sourcing: for example, we are developing polyester resins from post-consumer recycled Polyester and sizing agents based on chitosan, a natural biodegradable polymer derived from food waste.
What would you say is the biggest misconception consumers have about sustainability in fashion?
The correlation between high prices and high sustainability is not always right. There are brands with “low price positioning” that have very high sustainability standards. The other challenge is to convey correctly to the retail marketplace all the value-added activities for sustainability that the brands have put in place in the manufacturing process or in the responsible sourcing.
Unfortunately, they are not valued or understood by the consumers. I have seen garments with several labels or tags reporting different sustainability concepts (e.g. recycling), but I strongly doubt that the customer base understands the real meaning of those tags. As a matter of fact, when I ask to my friends what matters to them in term of textile sustainability, I get a wide range of points of view that in most cases aren’t aligned with the industry’s efforts.
What was your company’s biggest takeaway from the Covid crisis?
Never compromise with quality, identity and your medium and long-term targets, which must be spread to the broadest internal and external audience. Those are the pillars of the company and the engine that helped us to overcome the crisis and emerge stronger.
What is your company’s latest sustainability-related initiative?
We want to emphasize and properly communicate all the “green activities” carried out throughout the last three years from an industrial and product perspective. We want to give them the right visibility, so they are not taken for granted. Moreover, our R&D department is working on a couple of confidential “gamechangers” that can revolutionize the industry.
What do you consider to be the apparel industry’s biggest missed opportunity related to securing meaningful change?
Communicate the green impact for the fashion industry in a way that is understandable to a broader audience, something that is missing today. I do believe that brands who will make the marketplace fully understand the value of sustainability by creating the culture and real awareness, will enjoy a long-lasting competitive advantage.
As a final thought, in the coming year, the sustainability impact will be exponential. Still, to succeed in the new paradigm, companies involved in this business must have started actions and investments some years ago already.