Mikko Koponen, can textile business be responsible business?
Mikko Koponen, CEO of Finlayson will join the Nordic Business Ethics Day on April 29th. Finlayson is one of Finland’s most beloved textile companies. In his talk Mikko will address the opportunities and challenges to conduct business ethically and responsibly in the textile industry. Things will get interesting as we we will interview Mikko after his presentation and will also invite Professor Guido Palazzo on the stage to discuss the questions within human rights, responsible consumption and business ethics.
We got a chance to ask Mikko a few questions to get a sneak peek of this talk.
Mikko, What do you see as the biggest risks or challenges companies face in terms of responsible business conduct in the textile industry?
“One of the biggest challenges is transparency. There are a lot of opportunistic players on the market who are trying to take an advantage despite of human rights and environmental issues especially when the price is the driving factor.
Terminology and standards vary and there has been frauds even among the established standards. Therefore it’s difficult for the consumers to build the trust towards the standards and understand the price premium in sustainably produced products.”
I fully agree with this as a consumer. For being a responsible consumer you sometimes need to apply the skills of Sherlock Holmes!
Mikko, what kind of due diligence does Finlayson perform for its business partners to ensure responsible business?
“Finlayson has a supplier code of conduct that we require from our each supplier. We are also a member of BSCI Amfori and we conduct BSCI audits to our suppliers. We also conduct our own audits on top of the BSCI Amfori audits and have a direct dialog to employees of our suppliers.”
Yes, I loved your last comment. Having close relationships and an open dialogue about responsibility and sustainability stuff is important. Mikko, How do you see the future of textile industry – from the sustainability perspective
“There’s a lot of work to do in textile industry. Unfortunately it’s one of the most irresponsible industries in the world in terms of human rights and environmental issues.”
Unfortunately that’s true. And that’s why my last question to you Mikko is: Is it possible to conduct business responsibly in the textile industry? Can textile business be responsible business?
“As long as we are in production industry we are not sustainable. However business and operations can be done responsibly. It is possible to try to find the most sustainable and responsible ways and always develop towards more sustainable and responsible ways of working.“
Looking forward to hear more of your thoughts in the Nordic Business Ethics Day on April 29! Thank you Mikko Koponen!
Mikko Koponen is the CEO of Finlayson, one of Finland’s most beloved textile companies. In his talk Mikko will address the opportunities and challenges to conduct business ethically and responsibly in the textile industry. Niina and Anna will interview Mikko after his talk and address also questions from the audience.