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Quiet Action, Not Screaming Posters

By Anchal Jain

Photo by Shashwat Parhi

1. WALK, DON’T TALK. Sustainability is not a marketing story anymore, not a USP folks; it is a mandate! So, please bring down those posters, fold up the ramps where the artisans were walking. Instead, get up and start walking your talk. And please do not make a fuss about it, the customers will not be buying your product only because it is labelled as sustainable. Double whammy for make believe sustainable brands. Now real value will need to be delivered, both to customers and to the supply chain stakeholders.

2. SHOW ME YOUR SOUL, NOT A CERTIFICATE. Transparency will trump certification that currently defines “sustainable brands”. Technology backed value chain transparency will be the new labelling norm. Blockchain will have a serious role to play even in artisanal supply chains.

3. AND SOUL IS NOT ENOUGH IN ITSELF. The markets will demand and deserve performance, functionality, affordability and timely deliveries. No more hiding behind the sustainability fig leaf. I have talked a lot about redefining quality parameters and celebrate the inconsistencies as already accomplished in products like wine in Europe, but that in itself is a huge effort. Brands, sustainability warriors will have to get their hands dirty in solving issues thus far ignored.

4. WHO AM I WORKING FOR? Contemporary NGOs and Donors will be asking this question. The traditional model has not worked in making their stakeholders prosperous and shock ready. Fresh thinking will stop viewing consumers with mistrust and instead see them as important stakeholders. INTENT WILL BE TO DELIVER MORE VALUE TO MORE CONSUMERS IN ORDER TO MAKE MORE ARTISANS MORE PROSPEROUS.

5. RENAISSANCE OF ARTISANAL PRODUCTS, more beautiful, more functional, more affordable. Serious support from serious brands like investments, quality assurance processes, engagement models etc will open up a large global market.

6. SUSTAINABILITY FINALLY GOES HUMAN. It is no longer about meeting the minimum standards laid down by any certification but to go beyond where your intent can take you. Human intent for health, environment and fellow humans is what it will be about. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are Val-More’s views only. Anchal is neither an economist nor an astrologer. However, besides having an ability to connect future dots, he is an eternal optimist always looking at the positives in human behavior in any difficult moment to come out stronger. Special mention of Manoj Kumar and Geetanjali Rastogi from the Val-More partner team for their contribution and challenges.

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