Case Study

Carolina Restrepo
Innovation, Development & Sustainability Director, MAAJI

Why did you choose to educate and train yourself?

For several years the theme of sustainability has become an essential in any project or company. As an individual, I have always believed in the duty of the planet’s consciousness and its environmental, economic and social balance. As MAAJI’s Director of Innovation and Sustainability, I have wanted to permeate the corporate culture in which I work with that costly study and inclusion of knowledge and the joining of forces to achieve a coherent system between the company and sustainable development. All this under the evident intention of the Maaji leaders to walk this path.

What have the benefits of the training been?

Being able to access the information collected in an easy and concrete way means that the knowledge can be processed in an agile and efficient way, in addition to having examples and people with specific knowledge. All the information of the course and the way it is explained is very clear, this has given us a 360 vision of sustainability in fashion and the different elements that make it up. It is a very good start to understand the social and environmental problems of fashion today. With this vision, the sustainability policies or projects within the company become more specific and concrete.

How do you see your training as valuable in the light of Covid-19?

I think that COVID has accelerated the process of raising awareness in a certain way, but it has also made many companies and projects see the need to rethink many things, in addition to taking measures to survive, all of this having to move resources where they had previously been intended. I believe that we are at the epicenter of a world revolution of the orders known so far and we do not yet know with certainty what this whole movement will bring. What is clear is that structures must change and there is an urgent call to bring more balanced and conscious companies.

For me and the company in which I work, COVID has meant a great challenge throughout the structure and all the forces have gone towards maintaining the jobs and stability of the company with very extreme changes in dynamics. In any case, we are positive and aware that all these changes are necessary to build that new path from balance in many ways. In any case, I think it is a great opportunity to reinvent and tell a new story despite the difficulties.

How important is leadership when integrating sustainability into businesses, and for transforming the industry? What does leadership mean to you?

It is very important, it is essential. Sustainability has not been the priority throughout history, but today that path must change and it is necessary to build short, medium and long-term strategies that are in tune with this new vision that is based on the conviction of leaders. We cannot be oblivious to how we are changing, where we must have an active position in terms of committing ourselves to change and contributing to the internal and external system of companies, a new way of doing things. It is essential that the leaders have more knowledge, there is more community and we can build together a new stage of collaboration by joining forces to reverse everything we have done to the planet and the beings that comprise it.

What advice do you have for other companies planning to engage, educate or train their staff on sustainability topics?

I would say that it is very good to find courses and information like the one presented here. I think it is a good source, serious and reliable. You need to be able to count on that in order to forge a solid starting point for reliable knowledge. A commitment to keep moving forward and looking for a specialized community is necessary to exchange opinions and build together from varied and complementary points of view.

What advice do you have for other companies now planning to get the most of the SFA sustainability fundamentals course and SFA’s services overall?

I would invite them to be part of this, without a doubt. It is highly recommended and beneficial. I think it is necessary that someone with prior knowledge of fashion can be a multi-factorizer of what is exposed in the course.

Is there anything else that stands out about your SFA training experience that was helpful and you would like to share?

The experience was very good, very concrete. The information is very clear, with the modules and the videos that are exposed. I am grateful that I was able to take part in this course and I think it gave me a lot in terms of a global vision of sustainability in fashion.

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