Sustainability Innovation Manager

Ref: MON11388
Salary: Competitive
Department: Technical Services
Location: Notting Hill Village, London (W11)
Position type: Permanent
Hours / Duration: Full-time

Our story began with one man and his vision; to bring vibrant, colourful, hand-crafted artisan clothes from faraway places to the markets of London. It is a journey that started on a hippy commune in Ibiza, 1970, and finished with an overland trip east, through Afghanistan and India. Now found in West London, we’re creating vibrant products, and sharing endless discovery.

e are looking for a Sustainability Innovation Manager to join our team. This is a founding role in our new venture the “Future Activation Lab” that we are launching in partnership with London College of Fashion (LCF). This individual in this role will lead our efforts to innovate and solve key challenges blocking our path to more sustainable clothing and accessories, with the expectation that we will complete multiple projects over the next 3-5 years focused on solving sustainability challenges via innovations in design, materials, sourcing, and manufacturing; partnering closely with our Monsoon and Accessorize product teams and our sustainability/ethical trade team, as well as with our supplier base, and with our partners at LCF.

The role responsibilities and focus will include:

  • Goal setting and strategy. Work closely with the internal brand teams as well as LCF and other partners to input to individual project and broader 3-5 year roadmap goals. Help identify desired outcomes and success metrics for projects. Articulate why specific projects matter (impact).
  • Creative solution development. Clearly articulate the problems we are trying to solve. Identify (from research and discussions) potential solutions, pros/cons, how we will evaluate, their difficulty of developing and implementing. Evaluate what needs to be delivered when to ensure success.
  • Project and program management. Ensure projects are clearly scoped with goals, timelines and required resources and support. Develop appropriate workplans and bring appropriate project management skills to bear to ensure delivery. Arrange meetings, set agendas, keep track of follow-up and actions. Develop the right relationships internally and externally to ensure strong communication and collaboration across teams. Ensure deliverables are achieved in full and on time.
  • Budget management. Develop realistic budgets (and contingencies) to accompany deliverables and manage them effectively. Clearly communicate required/likely changes to budgets and appropriate actions.
  • Partner and supplier identification and coordination. Engage with existing partners and suppliers to understand their capabilities and what they can bring to specific projects. Work with senior management to ensure that the right partners and suppliers are engaged on appropriate terms and in a mutually beneficial manner.
  • Internal and external communication. Develop and share regular updates on projects and ensure they are shared and discussed internally and externally with key stakeholders and participants. Celebrate success and clearly identify status on projects, call out key challenges and issues, and articulate solutions required for progress. Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that communications are clearly shared and questions and input solicited.
  • Provide ad hoc specialist research and advice to colleagues and key stakeholders. Act as the innovation specialist within the business, providing ad hoc advice and input pertinent to and where possible beyond the scope of projects to help the company’s broader progress on sustainability.

We would love to hear from you if you have the following competencies or experience:

  • Specialist knowledge/qualifications: likely to have an undergraduate degree or equivalent and potentially relevant graduate-level qualifications; fashion and sustainability knowledge and passion are essential.
  • Relevant experience: strong project and program management experience, ideally in apparel or consumer product companies; experience managing both internal and external partners, such as suppliers and vendors; experience working independently and managing priorities; experience developing and managing project budgets.
  • Key skills: strong collaborator and team player; strong communication skills; organized and disciplined; professional with a desire to learn and develop; knows when to ask for help!
  • Innovation: creative thinker and problem solver; ideally experience working on innovative or novel product/process solutions. Thinks big but pragmatic and a doer.

Adena Sustainability and “Future Activation Lab” Background

Adena Brands Group and a commitment to responsibility and sustainability.

The Adena Brands Group brings together three leading heritage fashion brands: Monsoon, Accessorize and East. The brands have their own distinct handwriting but share a strong link to India, and its tradition of craft and vibrant artisan communities, and they share a commitment to responsible sourcing and sustainable product, a tradition that stretches back over 50 years.

What we want to achieve.

Much of what we have achieved in sustainability has been the result of adopting best practices and making considered choices of available materials and production techniques. For example, choosing organic cottons; recycled man-made fibres; lower water-use processes; reduced and recycled packaging; lower-energy use transportation; and trialling take-back and resale initiatives to extend products’ lives and reduce their environmental impact. 

The “Future Activation Lab” concept.

Although we have made significant progress on sustainability, we still face challenges in some key areas where more sustainable alternatives are not available. Sometimes because of a lack of core technology or innovation; sometimes because a solution has not been commercialized or lacks the broader coordination or accreditation needed for adoption. As we strive to improve the sustainability of our products and our business, we find ourselves ‘blocked’ in certain areas.

Our concept is to establish and fund an effort, the “Future Activation Lab”, to solve our most important unaddressed sustainability challenges, actively contributing to solving those problems and sharing the solutions we develop widely across the industry.

Committed funding focused on delivering a series of innovative sustainability projects.

The Lab is being launched with a significant investment over the next 3 years, with the ambition to take on sequential projects as a ‘proof of concept’ that can deliver tangible results (i.e. problems solved and solutions in use). Our ambition is to then make this a permanent ‘sustainability R&D’ effort. The funding will support a team to identify, prioritize and manage projects; external parties will be engaged to provide expertise and know-how; suppliers and factories will be engaged to test and commercialize solutions. We will create actual product/processes with vendors, and intellectual property that we intend to share via an open-source type model, making it available to other researchers and to commercial users. We have identified the first project that we are now actively working on, and expect to have a longer roadmap of projects by early 2023.

A partnership with the London College of Fashion.

We are engaging with the London College of Fashion (LCF) as a founding collaboration partner for the Future Activation Lab, bringing LCF’s knowledge of the latest innovations in sustainability and its broad network of expertise to add to our industry experience. We see LCF as both a guide to help us navigate this rapidly developing space and prioritize our efforts, as well as a practical partner in managing aspects of specific projects. We have already worked with LCF on product collections and are excited to extend our partnership with them to make broader use of their research capabilities and expertise in sustainability.

What will we offer you in return?

  • Competitive salary
  • 25 days holiday with the option to purchase additional holiday through our salary sacrifice scheme
  • Bonus day off each year after 6 months service
  • A pension that you will be automatically be enrolled in after 3 months
  • Private Healthcare
  • Life assurance (subject to participating in the pension scheme)
  • A flexible working approach
  • Early pay day Friday finish
  • A generous staff discount with up to 50% discount on our products
  • Interest free season ticket loans
  • Discounted gym membership at our on campus gym
  • Additional discounts such as Westfield discount, Taste card membership etc

If this all sounds great and you feel you are who we are looking for, let us know and apply today.

At Monsoon Accessorize we don’t focus only on what we do, we also care about how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us.

We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce and an environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution, enabling all of our employees to thrive and achieve their full potential.

We want to attract the broadest range of talented people and are an equal opportunity employer. We welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We will also consider flexible working requests for all roles, unless operational requirements prevent otherwise.

We provide reasonable accommodations as needed to people with disabilities to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us at careers@monsoon.co.uk to request discuss any specific requirements.

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