Up Close is Sourcing Journal’s regular check-in with industry executives to get their take on topics ranging from personal style to their company’s latest moves. In this Q&A, Leonardo Bonanni, founder and CEO of supply chain mapping software company Sourcemap, discusses who fashion can turn to for traceability inspiration and why Covid-19 has heightened the need for supply chain visibility.
Name: Leonardo Bonanni
Title: founder and CEO
Which other industry has the best handle on the supply chain? What can apparel learn?
With pioneering projects such as the Patagonia Footprint Chronicles, Nike’s Material Sustainability Index (MSI) and certification of raw materials including leather, cotton, wool and down, the apparel industry can be seen as a leader. But a number of industries, notably palm oil, cocoa and coffee, have moved beyond certification and benchmarks by adopting traceability to the first mile. In turn they’re able to measure the true impact of their supply chain in real time, monitor for risks such as deforestation and child labor, and actually ensure that everyone in the supply chain has a better livelihood.
How would you describe yourself as a consumer?
Informed; I like to know the true cost of products, and assume any story that’s too good to be true usually is.
As a consumer, what does it take to win your loyalty?
Transparency; companies that are brave enough to communicate about their practices, both good and bad.
Which fashion era is your favorite?
The one we’re in—the era of sustainable fashion.
How would you describe your corporate culture?
Sustainability starts here: an equitable, diverse and interesting place to work is the first step to making sure we treat others fairly, whether down the street or halfway across the world.
What can companies learn from COVID-19?
Our ability to thrive depends on how resilient our supply chains are, and that means making sure we’re in constant contact with everyone from suppliers to employees and customers.
What should be the apparel industry’s top priority now?
It’s never been more important (or more easy) to map your supply chain and make sure that everyone you depend on—suppliers, workers, customers—is staying safe throughout a crisis.
What keeps you up at night?
The next scandal and making sure it doesn’t happen.
What makes you most optimistic?
How many brands are taking responsible sourcing very seriously and using it to drive real change, whether it’s to avoid deforestation, improve animal welfare, provide opportunities for workers, and more. There are so many interesting ways to differentiate a brand through its impact and its mission.
Tell us about your company’s latest product introduction/service:
We’re very excited about our Livelihoods Toolkit. This is the first time that we’ve been able to combine traceability—knowing where things come from—and accountability—making sure people have access to capital and fair compensation.