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, Thibault Greuzat, CEO of trim company Dorlet, dispels misconceptions that metal trims impede recyclability.
Name: Thibault Greuzat
Name of Company: Dorlet
What do you consider to be your company’s best ESG-related achievement over the last five years?
Our biggest achievement was to launch the DORLET WILD project in 2016. Based on the UN goals, we built Dorlet‘s CSR approach on three pillars: social, environment and sustainable innovation.
For the first two, our company joined the Higg platform to help our supply chain members better perform in terms of social and environmental practices. Thanks to this tool, we are proud to show to our customers our yearly improvement and goals for the next coming years. Regarding sustainable solutions, we are launched the WILD LINE trim collection, featuring four designs with solutions for greener fashion.
On a personal level, how much do you look into a brand’s social or environmental practices before shopping?
I look into how a brand can act against wasteful fashion, and what their strategy is to do something about it.
Any examples of something you did or didn’t buy because of this?
I bought a pair of [customized, made-to-order] jeans on the Unspun shop, which only produces what customers buy.
What is your personal philosophy on caring for your clothes?
I particularly pay attention to the second life of the product, and note if the brand has thought about a way to recycle it. And of course, I look at the metal trims to see if they come from Dorlet, then I can buy the clothing. I’m joking, of course, but I will investigate the trims, and it will be a huge criterion of my selection.
How do you try to minimize the environmental impact of the clothes you buy, either on the purchasing side or end-of-use?
I will buy from brands that produce made-to-order only, and I don’t buy any fast fashion.
Anything new you are doing to boost sustainability beyond the fashion industry?
I practice strong, selective sorting [for recycling] at home and at the office. We also manage our own compost at home to reduce waste, and use natural detergents for washing and cleaning.
What would you say is the biggest misconception consumers have about sustainability in fashion?
It is a common misconception that there is no easy way to recycle the top part of jeans because of the difficulty to remove the rivets and buttons, but this is not true. Dorlet is creating metal trims that are easy to remove, reuse and recycle, such as the Diabolo with screw-on rivets.
What was your company’s biggest takeaway from the Covid crisis?
We learned that everything can be still made from a distance, but the job is much easier and creative with direct contact and face-to-face meetings.
What is your company’s latest sustainability-related initiative?
We are the first trims company to design an easy to remove, reuse and recycle jean button, the 100 percent raw zinc alloy Diabolo is the most innovative sustainable solution offered to our customer.
What do you consider to be the apparel industry’s biggest missed opportunity related to securing meaningful change?
We need to collaborate as one sector to make a more sustainable fashion, but everyone wants to create their own metrics to promote their own offerings. But the goal is not to more sustainable than your competitors and find some criteria to prove it; the goal is to reduce the global impact of fashion on the planet and the only way to make a positive impact is to join forces without any lobbying.
Any final thoughts?
Please join our forces because “we want you WILD!”