Our Guest - Deborah Taylor


Topics of the interview

0:00 – Intro

0:33 – Presentation

02:13 – What is Sustainable Leather Foundation?

03:16 – The 3 pills of sustainability

04:10 – UNECE project “Advancing Transparency and Traceability for Sustainable Value Chains in the Garment and Footwear Industry”

08:39 – Rank of the major risks in leather industry

11:00 – How to apply transparent approach

14:08 – What is missing in the fashion industry to reach Transparency and Traceability?

20:24 – Share of information thanks to technology

25:40 – Honesty to make Fashion Industry more sustainable

Embracing Transparency and Traceability in Fashion: Insights from Deborah Taylor

In an insightful interview with Deborah Taylor, Managing Director at Sustainable Leather Foundation and consultant at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, we explore the critical aspects of sustainability in the fashion industry, focusing on transparency and traceability. Taylor’s extensive experience, including her work with the Leather Working Group and various global luxury brands, provides a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities in achieving sustainable practices in fashion.

The Sustainable Leather Foundation: A Holistic Approach

The Sustainable Leather Foundation was established to bring together the best practices in the leather industry and address gaps in sustainability efforts. The foundation aims to create a dashboard approach to transparency, culminating in QR technology for consumers. This initiative focuses on the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, and governance dimensions, ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive approach.

The UNECE Project: Advancing Transparency and Traceability

Taylor’s work with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe involves a project focused on enhancing transparency and traceability in sustainable value chains in the garment and footwear industry. The project aims to establish a framework for traceability with a standard set of criteria, applicable globally. This approach is technology-agnostic, emphasizing the importance of data parameters for effective traceability and transparency.

Addressing Challenges in the Fashion Industry

One of the significant challenges in the fashion industry is the complexity of supply chains and the daunting task of deep-diving into these networks to effect change. The Sustainable Leather Foundation’s platform allows each actor to input their information, facilitating verification and trust-building without revealing all details to every chain participant. This approach acknowledges the need for gradual progress and collaboration among brands, tanneries, and other stakeholders.

The Role of Technology in Transparency

Technology plays a crucial role in supporting brands through controlled messaging and demonstrating compliance. QR technology, for instance, can focus on specific sustainability aspects that a brand can demonstrate, whether it’s environmental, social, or governance-related. This targeted approach ensures clarity and accuracy in sustainability communication.

Internal Communication and Consumer Awareness

A key aspect of sustainability in fashion involves ensuring that sustainability teams, sourcing teams, and marketing teams within brands communicate effectively. This alignment is crucial to avoid conflicting messages and ensure that sustainability efforts are accurately represented. Additionally, Taylor emphasizes the importance of decoupling lifestyle choices from sustainability, advocating for products to stand on their own sustainability merits.

The Future of Sustainable Fashion

When asked about her vision for a more sustainable fashion industry, Taylor highlights the need for more honesty and accountability. She believes that brands should take a comprehensive look at their practices, balancing the need for profit with the need to protect the environment and society. This approach involves acknowledging current challenges and working collaboratively to address them, starting with the brands and extending throughout the supply chain.


Deborah Taylor’s insights shed light on the complex yet vital role of transparency and traceability in the fashion industry’s journey towards sustainability. By focusing on holistic approaches, embracing technology, and fostering internal and external collaboration, the industry can make significant strides in becoming more sustainable. Taylor’s vision of honesty and accountability paves the way for a future where fashion not only respects the environment but also contributes positively to society.

A Traceability Journey, a project by The ID Factory

Our mission is to raise awareness about the importance of traceability for sustainable value chains. We are doing this by engaging with ESG consultants and sharing best practices from the fashion supply chain.

In today’s episode we questioned with Deborah Taylor how brands can concretely implement a sustainability change in fashion through traceability and transparency.

About Deborah Taylor

She is the CEO at Sustainable Leather Foundation and Consultant at United Nation Economic Commission for Europe.

Watch the complete interview by clicking on the video below.

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