We met Lee on a retail luxury in India project.
We were so taken with her engagement and accessibility on the retail industry, we wanted to know more about her and why she has committed her life’s work to building a sustainable retail ecosystem. Her company, Infinite Goods, mission is to transform the fashion industry with using only sustainable materials, fair labor practices and circularity, meaning creating a platform that all garments sold can be recycled by 2035.
According to Statista, the apparel industry is one of the planet’s deadliest exploiters. Only the power and coal industries create more environmental harm than the retail industry. In 2021 apparel waste produced 897 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In 2030 the projection is 1.3 billion metric tons. Transportation, distribution and business travel are the tip of the iceberg for the industries toxic sources.
In 2023 a retail transparency index was created for companies to be more accountable in their sustainable practices. The number and location of supplier factories is a huge tell. China and Turkey are hubs for many fast-fashion companies. According to Statista, Inditex Group, owner of Zara and other brands, have 404 factories in China and 201 in Turkey, making their brands a supply chain headache in sustainability and transparency. The Italian retailer OVS, led the world’s retailers at 83% transparency.
On the business end, the second-hand apparel and resale market is expected to grow from from $177B in 2022 to $351B in 2027. Millennials and Gen Z consumers are its largest consumers as apparel and second-hand luxury items become cheaper, accessible and environmentally friendly.
There is tremendous opportunity in the retail sustainable industry and its thrilling to see the visionary Lee tackle this critical issue with steely-eyed work ethic and intelligence.
Learn more about Lee, and her startup Infinite Goods, as an arbiter for retail sustainability and ethical work practices.