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It’s been 7 years since the Rana Plaza clothing factory in Bangladesh collapsed resulting in the death of 1138 people with over 2,400 injured. The Fashion Revolution Week is an annual event supported globally in memory of those who lost their lives, the injured and the people still impacted by this tragic event. It also serves to remind us of the social and environmental impact that each of us make through our support of the fashion industry.
Seeing the media images of shoppers queuing outside clothing stores as lockdown has started to lift is quite poignant. Many of our high street and online clothing brands source clothing through complex supply chains in developing countries where more than 80% of workers are women. Many of these supply chains are linked to human rights abuses, limited workers rights and poor conditions. Cotton growing, processing and textile manufacture is also linked to forced labour in some areas of the world.
Thankfully there have been many recent improvements in factory conditions, but there are still many workers who are home based working on piece rate, particularly for hand stitched and beaded items. Working from home provides flexibility and helps with childcare, but these workers are not visible, are often isolated with little representation. The fluctuation of piece rate can also mean working long hours, and periods with little or no work, exacerbated as orders were cancelled when retail closed in response to COVID.
So what can we do as we set off in search of a new summer wardrobe?
Pre-loved clothing is becoming increasingly popular – for many the thought of ‘hand me downs’ from being the younger sibling can strike a note, but there are bargains to be had out there. In addition to feeling good about doing your bit for the planet, you could also be supporting the third sector too. Reuse websites deliver to your home, where you can try on in comfort and return if not suitable. The other benefit is you are less likely to be seen in the same outfit as others on the beach!
If pre-loved isn’t for you, then ask questions of the retailer. Who made this, and where? What is your policy on paying your workers and where is the material sourced. Is the cotton organic? If it doesn’t state ‘organic’ on the label, then the likeihood is it isn’t. There are a number of smaller retailers like the Embroidery Barn in Dorset who stock school uniform and personalised sweatshirts and fleeces made from recycled plastic bottles and organic yarns.
For more information and to ask questions of some of our favourite high street stores about how they are sourcing and policing their supply chains world wide check out www.Fashionrevolution.org website. It makes interesting reading.
As a manager or EMS leader, you are already familiar with how to motivate, inspire and lead others. If you are now ready to take the next steps to become a sustainability leader or better still, are being given the opportunity to progress your career, it’s a chance not to be missed. So why is the progression from manager to sustainability leader one of the best moves you could make?
Meaningful change doesn’t always have to come from the top. As a sustainability leader, your team will look to you for ideas, innovation and more importantly if you’ve already proved yourself as a good manager, they will listen and follow you.
Company culture is mostly defined as a company’s beliefs and attitudes, so if you are going to influence this culture you need to:
Sustainability is about protecting future generations as well as our immediate environment. As an EMS manager, one of your skill sets will have been to see the bigger picture before breaking it down to smaller functions, which were achieved by individuals or teams.
As a sustainability leader, you will need to continue to:
While there are many advantages to becoming a sustainability leader, these careers don’t always come with the best in-house training. Despite the speed at which sustainability is gathering momentum in the corporate world, it’s a role that isn’t always easily prepared for.
YouTree provides bespoke remote training that is supported by one to one coaching to create a blend between learning and support; our training will help you progress your career or make the most of any opportunity on the horizon.
Using a variety of learning styles, you will be guided through sustainability basics and develop practical ways to implement a sustainability plan whilst learning about yourself and your ability to communicate effectively with senior decision makers.
For more about my professional and personal coaching packages, feel free to get in touch today and book your no obligation, 15-minute coffee and connect session!
Do you have the passion to inspire and guide your organisation to take better responsibility for its environmental impact? Growing into an EMS leader doesn’t have to be daunting – it should be full of excitement and possibilities for both you and your team.
Being a leader is to be willing to bring the best out in others. Therefore, being an EMS leader means you will be able to inspire, motivate and empower those around you. To achieve this, you will need to:
Building trust within your team and creating a safe space for people to share ideas and provide feedback is essential. Your projects will have a higher chance of success if your team both enjoy and want to work with you. Allowing them the opportunity to contribute their ideas, without fear, will enhance your relationship and therefore the success of any projects you implement.
Having a vision for the future is the best way to lead your team to success. Your team will want to know where they are headed and as you develop your relationships, the team will be motivated to reach that goal and follow your lead.
Effective EMS leaders must have solid decision making skills. However, being able to come to decisions in a timely manner does not always mean you have to make the right decisions. In some cases, making an incorrect choice based on the data available is better than making a right decision that took a lot of unnecessary energy. After all, if you make an incorrect decision quickly, the sooner it can be rectified and you will most likely earn respect for your judgement call.
As a leader, you are only as good as your team. Therefore, when you are successful, it is down to teamwork and not necessarily down to any individual. You also need to be able to listen to feedback and accept responsibility for failures rather than putting the blame onto others. Remember, people leave managers, not teams and so if you are going to retain talent, you need to create an environment where people feel valued and recognised.
While making the move from EMS manager to leader will feel out of your comfort zone, it is also a great opportunity and one that YouTree can help with.
Our course is the only UK & International course providing a practical guide with 1:1 support for EMS professionals.
Designed specifically for environmental & Q/HSE managers or advisors holding operational responsibility for maintaining and advancing the business’s EMS certification, the course is designed to challenge you to be the very best EMS leader you can be. Find out more here https://www.youtree.uk/ems-leadership-challenge/
You will be coached, provided with peer feedback and challenged to undertake a leadership influencing project within your own organisation.
For more about my professional and personal coaching packages, get in touch today and book your no obligation coffee and connect session: firstname.lastname@example.org
Health and safety is your life. Not only are you responsible for the development and assessment of comprehensive health and safety management plans, you are also ready at a moment’s notice to react to any situation or emergency. You are constantly on the go: planning, preparing or managing situations.
However, the irony is, you are far more likely to neglect your own needs, in order to achieve your professional goals and targets. Therefore, looking after yourself is paramount to ensuring you continue to meet the demands of such a rigorous role. The importance of self care for the HSEQ manager should never be taken for granted.
I have been where you are and have felt the effects of taking my work home with me, not listening to my body or putting the demands of my work first. While sometimes it cannot be avoided, because emergencies do arise, practising regular self care routines can better prepare you for the stressful situations you will encounter and keep you grounded. So what can you do to look after mental and physical health both in and out of the work environment?
Nature can heal, soothe and restore our physical and mental wellbeing. Exposure to the outdoors has a powerful effect on the way we function as human beings and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Being in nature or simply viewing nature, can ease stress, reduce anxiety, heighten positive emotions as well as helping us think more clearly.
In an age when we can see our work emails on our phones, ask yourself if you ever truly switch off from work? Are you always available? Do people call you after hours when you should be spending time with your family? If the answer is yes, it’s likely to be because you’ve responded to emails at that time before. If people know you are going to reply, they are going to email you at all hours.
Being able to switch off from work doesn’t mean you can’t think about it though; it simply means you create a safe space where work won’t interrupt you unnecessarily. It means you can devote more time to yourself, what you enjoy and those you love.
Drinking plenty of water has both a mental and physical benefit which in turn, can boost our performance at work and our quality of life.
Drinking enough water will:
Setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep can actually start the moment you wake up. Feeling like you’re off to a good start for the day can make us more efficient at work, which leads to positive feelings of productivity and in turn, produce those all important ‘feel good’ chemicals in our brains.
A morning routine can involve anything such as getting up and preparing the kids for school, going for a dog walk, doing a pilates session or simply answering the emails you ignored the night before.
Then when you get home from work, you might read a book, cook, exercise or help the children with their homework. Whatever you do, adopting a regular pre and post work schedule will help your mind and body relax and in turn, help you sleep more soundly.
As a certified energy leadership life and executive business coach, I offer personal one-to-one coaching to share the power of energetic connection. I help people thrive by finding a deeper connection to the natural environment which in turn helps them deliver more and stress less.
For more about my professional and personal coaching packages, get in touch today and book your no obligation, 20-minute discovery session: email@example.com