Humanity is becoming more aware of sustainability in general, of the impact of the products being consumed and the services that are used.
When dealing with sustainability within the hotel sector, one of the main issues that are analyzed in the data collection phase is the hotel infrastructure, looking at it from an environmental perspective. We take into account the cost of supplies, information on recent changes or improvements, consumption of supplies, waste management and natural resources…
Subsequently we look at the materials, both those for cleaning and the amenities found in the rooms and facilities available to customers and staff. Among the most criminalized is plastic, a product that many hoteliers have disposed of in their establishments, but have we taken into account the impact that those actions have had on the environment? If we have decided to give them a new use through upcycling, we will be doing it the right way.
With a view to positive social impact, we train our employees to make them better professionals and better people, to teach them how to achieve their goals and to make them part of the company's collective goals.
Restaurants have also played an important role in adapting sustainability. Real foodism has become fashionable - it was time to eat well! - and consequently the acquisition of products used in the kitchens of restaurants and hotel buffets have become closer, thus achieving a more positive socio-economic local impact.
By developing actions that support specific objectives, such as the example given, we can make our impact even more positive and less damaging for the different spheres of sustainability.
At the socioeconomic level, employees tend to feel more included and responsible consumption is promoted, something that employees can adopt in their private lives. At the same time, working with a sustainable fashion brand will have a positive impact on the local economy, as these brands are normally socially committed to those closest to them.
At a cultural level, the message that sustainability is essential is emitted and is transmitted to the different actors that are part of the business: clients, employees, suppliers... all of our relationships capture the message that we share.
Regarding the environment, by using sustainable materials we respect the natural environment that surrounds us, but recycling and upcycling, we are able to convert waste into usable material. Using the current advances that exist in the fashion industry, we will be able to achieve a more positive impact from the hospitality sector.
For these reasons, ethical fashion, or the use of sustainable or recycled materials has a positive impact and complements all the sustainability actions that we can carry out in hotels.
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We look for comfort and durability in our employees' clothes, but what if we work with brands that go a step or two further? The Room Mate Group unveiled a year ago an initiative that was a further step in sustainability for the sector: with the help of the Ecoalf brand, employees of all Room Mate hotels would go on to wear 100% recycled uniforms, created exclusively for the chain.
Today, along with tourism, fashion is one of the most damaging industries we can find. Textile brands cannot rely only on organic materials to develop their fabrics and garments: upcycling and recycling are necessary and being able to rescue waste is the next step - even if it was something that was done in the past, with the rapid consumption model in recent decades, we have lost the habit.
How can sustainable fashion improve the commitment of the hospitality sector?
During the isolation by COVID-19, we have been bombarded with images and news of risk prevention, statistics and economic losses, but also of positive news such as the reduction of the hole in the ozone layer, animals taking up parks, squares and streets, and many tutorials that teach us to do things for ourselves.
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Read all the posts that I wrote in the blog about menswear brands, ethical fashion and sustainable tourism.
Sustainability Project Manager and Consultant for the Fashion, Tourism & Hospitality industries.