UK-based fashion and homeware retailer The White Company has appointed Cat Lee as head of sustainability.
Like at Ted Baker – the brand she left earlier this year – Lee’s full title is head of ethics & sustainability as The White Company heightens its focus on greener retailing and ethical commerce.
Lee’s new head of sustainability role marks the next stage in a retail career that, to date, has included several greener retailing jobs, including at Asos, Arcadia, and originally at Marks & Spencer.
A recent job ad for the now-filled head of sustainability position at The White Company said the chosen candidate will work with the retailer’s board to help the strategic direction for sustainability work and “have overall responsibility for sustainability programmes and workstreams, integrating sustainability into commercial and supply chain practices”.
It also suggested that the candidate will act as senior subject matter expert on product sustainability, circularity, climate change and Scope 3 carbon emissions, which is experience Lee brings from her time at Ted Baker.
Lee will need to oversee delivery of internal and external reporting including annual sustainability reports, Textiles 2020, and various NGO reports, and she looks set to take on the mantle for delivering the retailer’s B Corp ambitions. The White Company’s publicly stated sustainability strategy includes the mission to become B Corp certified by 2023.
The retailer also said its goal is to achieve net zero carbon emissions throughout its business by 2040, which includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain from farm to washing machine. It also wants to achieve targets set by the British Retail Consortium’s climate roadmap for electricity use by 2030 and for gas, fuel and refrigeration by 2035.
The White Company has also publicly stated it wants to increase its share of recycled materials to 10% by 2024 and have its products fully traceable from farm and forest – Tier 4 suppliers – by 2025.
The White Company is already playing a role in the pre-loved market which is growing in popularity among UK consumers. Through its partnership with Thrift+, The White Company shoppers can donate unwanted clothing to the platform and raise funds for their favourite charity or earn credits to spend on vouchers or second-hand fashion.
[Image credit: Green Retail World]