Trento, November 26, 2020 – The seventh edition of “Stealth Day 2020 – Sustainability as a Governance and Growth Driver” — the annual event by Dedagroup Stealth, a subsidiary of Dedagroup S.p.A. that has supported the growth of the foremost brands in fashion and luxury retail with its expertise and software platform for 30 years — was a success.
This year’s edition — in fully digital format — involved dialog between the Company and various major industry players such as Save the Duck, Furla and BMB Manifattura Borse concerning the new sustainable fashion paradigms and how transparency and traceability — particularly now that the Fashion Pact has been signed by brands at the global level — are the new enablers of a digital transformation that is sweeping through the world’s supply chains.
Achieving the highest levels of sustainability — and the growth and profitability that it can generate — is complex and requires, in addition to vision, support from technologies capable of enhancing the development and implementation of the necessary strategies, while also streamlining the considerable additional workload that focusing on this topic entails. It was with this in mind that Dedagroup Stealth leveraged its 30 years of expertise to facilitate and support brands in the necessary process of change by creating its new Stealth® SustainabilitySolution module, which can be used to monitor companies’ sustainability performance. To this end, it also struck an agreement with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) — a global organization in which major players in the apparel, footwear and textiles industries participate, with the goal of promoting sustainable production in the sector — integrating into their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) the Higg indexes they have developed to calculate sustainability performances. This enables the new Stealth® SustainabilitySolution Module to process data from two fundamental areas: raw materials and suppliers.
Mimmo Solida, CEO of Dedagroup Stealth, emphasized: “2020 is a truly challenging year, but I am convinced that those who decide to invest and adopt new solutions and new business models will be able to find the road to recovery. At Dedagroup Stealth, we decided to do just that: to invest in our product — hence the creation of our new Stealth® SustainabilitySolution Module — and in training of individuals, out of the conviction that strengthening these two elements makes the entire company stronger and ready to support clients as they face new scenarios.”
The keynote speaker for the day was Francesca Romana Rinaldi, lecturer at Bocconi University and the SDA Bocconi School of Management and author of the book "Fashion Industry 2030. Reshaping the future through sustainability and responsible innovation". Her speech focused on the new circular economy models, which also underlie the new Sustainability Lab research project promoted by SDA Bocconi, to which Dedagroup Stealth is a technological partner, bearing out the fundamental connection between sustainability and technology. “Today, discussion needs to focus on a strategic approach to sustainability so that fashion industry companies consider it not as a cost, but rather as an investment that involves all activities throughout the value chain with the aim of obtaining a real competitive advantage,” stressed Francesca Romana Rinaldi. “The main drivers that enable change are circularity, transparency and traceability of the supply chain and collaborative consumption. Traceability and transparency are the true change-enabling tools.”
Sharing the stage at Stealth Day were a series of longstanding clients of the Company that recognized the Stealth® platform as offering added value for managing their processes and shared their experiences.
Nicolas Bargi, CEO of Save the Duck, the first fashion company in Italy to obtain certification reserved for the best performers at the social and environmental level, and transformed into a B Corp thanks to its commitment to meet standards of performance, transparency and responsibility by striving to optimize its positive impact on employees, the communities in which it operates and the environment, added: “Development of a project as innovative as that relating to sustainability necessarily involves important decisions, including with regard to the digital transformation of business processes. Hence the need to find a qualified partner capable of offering the right support to a company, such as our own, which has clear, well-defined sustainability goals.”
Luca Del Din, CIO of Furla, the Italian fashion brand that for over 90 years has been creating accessible luxury accessories for a vast consumer public, talked about how the Company dealt with the migration process during the lockdown: “At the height of the pandemic, although 50% of our company was shut down due to Covid, we nonetheless decided to move forward with the renewal of the entire IT fleet, adopting a solution such as Stealth®, which brings a new culture of fashion and retail processes to the company. We laid the foundations for the recovery that we hope will soon arrive, thanks to the omnichannel approach that Stealth® enables, to focus on the e-commerce channels that allow our business to move ahead.”
Finally, Stefano Zecchi, CFO of BMB – Manifattura Borse, another important Italian fashion company founded in Florence more than 50 years ago, dwelt on how technology is crucial to traceability within the supply chain: “To us, sustainability means traceability, but also ethical standards and legislative compliance in processes relating to our activities. This is a primarily labor-intensive task and so we responded to the need for sustainability by shortening our sub-supply chain, connecting it to us by a network contract in the process of being formalized that is based on a concept of shared entrepreneurial responsibility between us and our suppliers within a framework of uniformity of processes, procedures and traceability. Analysis of data regarding topics ranging from our products to our processes and workcycles plays a fundamental role because the right structure enables the customization of production processes.”
Luigi Serravalle, EY Partner and Supply Chain & Operations Mediterranean Leader, and Riccardo Giovannini, EY Partner and Climate Change and Sustainability Services Mediterranean Leader, then presented the results of the EY study “Sustainability in the Fashion & Luxury Industry”, conducted on a panel of over 100 Italian and international fashion and luxury company CEOs, which found that 90% of them is aware of the importance of sustainability as a means of obtaining a competitive and reputational advantage. The study also indicated the importance of actions designed to transform the supply chain and operations, recognized as the main phases of the value chain on which to act to facilitate the transition to sustainable business models.
The intense day of the event was brought to a conclusion by Marco Podini, Executive Chairman of Dedagroup S.p.A, who highlighted that corporate social responsibility is now more important than ever before, and at the heart of the Group’s industrial policies, because the actions taken necessarily have an impact on the social fabric: “We decided to take advantage of this moment of discontinuity to accelerate our investments at both the external and internal levels. Externally through the significant acquisition of Zedonk, which will enable us to bring all the advantages offered by our technology to a broader target group of industry players that thus will also include young start-ups and independent designers. Internally, rather than opting for redundancy schemes, we decided to put our people to work on an extraordinary effort dedicated to further developing our software, because at such times of crisis and uncertainty the right choice is certainly not resting idle, but moving ahead with projects. I am convinced that after a year such as that which we have just lived through, in which each of us gained even stronger awareness of the delicate equilibrium between humankind and its environment, we will emerge with a desire for beauty. By definition, fashion is beauty and joy, and being able to bring it to the public in an environmentally friendly way is what will enable the industry to recover even more rapidly.”
During the second part of Stealth Day, the event’s participants were able to take part in Meeting Rooms, focused on specific topics, such as the traceability of supply chains and new opportunities created by an omnichannel approach. Important participants included Stealth Ecosystem partners — EY, Temera, PWC, Piteco, RTT a Quistor company, SedApta Group, Retail Pro International, Deda Cloud, Lectra, TNP, and the fashion software — which highlighted the value of the partnership with Dedagroup Stealth and integration with the Stealth®, the Fashion Platform.