"Our mission is to connect farming and Sustainability to impact the future"
Historically our business interests and investments have centred around our experience and expertise in fashion and lifestyle products – designing, sourcing, manufacturing and retail.
Jennifer is a product designer and an awarded product developer with over 30 years of handbag sourcing, sampling and manufacturing experience working for some of the biggest luxury and lifestyle brands in the world. Jennifer has also studied Nutrition at Hong Kong University and has a keen interest in nutritional ecology – understanding the intersection of climate and environmental change, food systems and health.
Gary’s Chartered Accounting consultancy and business and investment interests in Australia and Asia focus on the sustainability issue, building and consulting to companies that create value over the longer term by incorporating strong ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) propositions. He has held positions as CEO and CFO of companies where the “profitability at all costs” priority has been replaced by these social imperatives with a resultant value creation benefit.
The fashion industry is constantly in the spotlight over its lack of commitment to environmental, social and sustainability issues and as a consequence there is a continuous requirement for us to explain our position in these areas.
Emerging from this period of COVID-19 our business focus has evolved and a sense of social responsibility now drives most of our decision making. We have researched and invested in farming methodologies and worked on educating ourselves on the economic challenges of balancing climate change with the requirement to properly feed the global population. We are determined also to assess our position in relation to farming and the fashion industry’s environmental impacts and sustainability.
There is no doubt an agricultural renaissance is required to address food security issues worldwide. The catch-cry is generally “innovate or perish” but we believe that we should take a collective breath and consider how we can bring the “best practices” of the past together with modern technologies.
At the same time, we must consider the modern imperatives such as climate change, sustainability, urbanisation and the environment as part of the equation.
“For us, sustainability begins with the earth in which we grow our food and graze our animals. This carries with it a responsibility to protect the environment – the earth and the atmosphere into which CO2 is discharged.”
Sustainability is about balance, it must be measured alongside economic, social and quality objectives. Too often sustainability discussions are hijacked by extremists. In our opinion much of the ESG debate in relation to fashion has too often come from people with vested interests rather than independent, science based, properly researched commentary.
“By definition sustainability refers to the ability to maintain something at a certain level for an extended period of time. We must explore solutions for food security, climate change, social and economic problems that provide long term solutions rather than stop-gap measures.”
In farming, for example, new methodologies and technologies are consistently being introduced. There is a need to match the suitability of these techniques to the environment in which we are operating. What works in urban or peri-urban areas cannot necessarily be applied to traditional and broad-acre farming scenarios.
Similarly in the fashion industry, many alternative materials and fabrics are now available which offer environmental benefits but often come also with negative impacts – cost, lack of durability, non-biodegradability and different but just as dangerous pollutants. Each product needs to be carefully evaluated to ensure it is the most appropriate in terms of sustainability outcomes over the longer term. We strongly believe that there is no single solution to all of the issues.
Farmaissance Innovation ( iFarmaissance.com ), has been established as an ESG Sustainability Consultancy and Community outlet for discussion of the issues and a Research and Development platform to support our farming activities and iFarmaissance Brands Ltd (iFarmBrands.com). GIVING BACK further explains our commitment to these issues through the JCG Sustainability Foundation.
Jennifer Chan & Gary Gardner, Founders
Life Cycle thinking: the key to every aspect of sustainability