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Q&A with CAP Member: Allanna McAspurn

Feb 5, 2021

Briefly describe your background, interests & areas of expertise?

I have a background in textile supply chains and my career in this area started in 2003.

I was previously CEO of a European sustainability consultancy which focussed on both social and environmental sustainability within the fashion industry. During this time I led an award winning team that worked with over 100 brands and retailers on sustainability projects and strategy; we also developed industry tools which benchmarked sustainability performance.

My academic life prior to working in sustainability, my wide business experience and deep knowledge of supply chains and processes, allow me to support leaders in testing the resilience of their sustainability strategies, engage them on pipeline issues that will be relevant for their business, and guide them through the cultural challenges that come with embedding new systems and ways of thinking.

What made your decision to join the CAP?

I have known Cyndi since the beginning of Worn Again, I believe in her vision and the potential of this technology to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of textile manufacturing. I also know how challenging it will be to make this as successful as it deserves to be, and the multi stakeholder support that Worn Again will require in order to pull this off.

Worn Again has pulled together a diverse CAP and together I think we can help the team enormously, these factors inspired me to join.

What do you believe the biggest hurdles/opportunities for transitioning to a new circular business mindset will be, for WA, for the industry?

It requires a fully mobilised multi-stakeholder approach, pressure from governments and the evolution of companies and services that currently don’t exist, at least not at scale. Shifting to a circular economy is such a dramatic change from how we currently do business that large companies, even those who take a leadership stance on sustainability, will tinker around the edges for some time and the circular mindset will not be fully embedded until the roadmap for change is clearly laid out with the various actors in place and the incentives for large scale adaptation are evident.

It’s clear that a circular economy of some kind will happen so the opportunity for business lies in the early engagement and being able to influence the path.

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