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Can Marketing Save the Planet - Ep 56: – “Where does this fit into our sustainability strategy?” – The question all marketers need to be asking. Sam Taylor, The Good Factory
Episode 5619th May 2023 • The Marketing Society podcast • The Marketing Society podcast
00:00:00 00:46:26

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“Consistency of message is what builds trust and we’re going to need that come 2028 when we realise how badly we failed.”

Sam Taylor, grew up on the factory floor (literally). From her lived experience and passion, she has gone on to become founder of The Good Factory an organisation involved in everything from consulting, sourcing and development and lifecycle assessments in the sportswear industry. Sam talks about how whilst studying, she was told after delivering her final project that, she “didn’t understand the clothing industry”, - in reality, she was way ahead of everyone else and could see what was coming much earlier.

In this episode we dig into lifecycle assessments and why they are such an important part of the business process, and something marketers increasingly need to have a greater awareness and interest.

We talk about sustainability frameworks, why they need much more work, a more consistent approach and a massive dose of rigour around them, as well as the importance of bringing in localised information. Sam talks about controversy around the Higg Index, [rebranded May 16th to Worldly], a suite of tools developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coaltion (SAC) to help companies in the leather, footwear and apparel value chain measure sustainability, - and why some brands are ditching it…, she explains, “the reason they are removing consumer facing information is because it was found to be misleading, they couldn’t support the information with enough data, so had to go back to the drawing board and bring in more experts”. This is an all too common issue when it comes to sustainability data, but as you’ll hear, Sam is hopeful that the right data can support better practice.

We go on to discuss regulation and its role in making the landscape fair and comparable. Sam believes, “governments play a lot bigger part than the industry would like, and it will get bigger, and, “where it will become more enforced is through import laws, as opposed to being marketing based, around claims.” Talking more about regulation, we move on to talk about the lifecycle of products, an area where things have changed considerably, but why? And as Sam explains, “we (the brands) are determining the lifecycle.”

This episode covers a number of topics in the apparel industry - which of course are comparable and relevant to so many other industries; lifecycle assessments, carbon budgets and the creativeness surrounding them, data - what is and isn’t available and the realities of transparency.

Sam advises all marketers when presented with briefs, ideas, instruction and campaigns - to ask and to keep asking, “where does this fit into our sustainability strategy?”

A real eye opening conversation on so many levels and one we will certainly be delving into again with Sam in the future.


You’ll find the Podcast on all the usual pod platforms - and if you love it, do share it and spread the word. Talking about climate change and the role we play is one of the most important things we can do. So join the conversation. We’re all in this together.

Our podcasts are recorded purely via online conferencing platforms, we apologise for any minor sound quality issues.