We interviewed Júlia Traveria Solà , graduate of the Master in Sustainable Business & Innovation at EADA. Júlia is from Spain and holds a Bachelor’s in International Business. Before coming to EADA, she had experience abroad in Australia and Cuba. She currently works at Mango as an Environmental Sustainability Technician.
In this interview, Júlia shares a bit about her current position and how EADA helped her get there.
Tell us a bit about your career path and what led you to the role you are in today.
After graduation, I had the pleasure of doing an internship at Freshly Cosmetics in the project management team – this was an enriching experience that I am very grateful for. Apart from being inspired by all of my colleagues, I learnt one of the most important life lessons so far: keep it simple. It may seem very basic, but it is more easily said than done in today’s saturated and overstimulated world.
I then took two months to become a full-time, self-taught “student”, reading books, watching documentaries and listening to podcasts about sustainability. When I felt ready to start a new adventure, I began my job search in the field of environmental sustainability. This is when I had the opportunity to join the environmental team of the CSR Department at Mango.
What is an average day like for you at Mango?
To be honest, there is not a single day that looks like the one before, and that is definitely one of the things I like most about working at Mango. In my position as Environmental Sustainability Technician, I collect data, develop and follow-up on sustainability KPIs throughout Mango’s supply chain. Analysing and establishing sustainability indicators is crucial not only for monitoring action plans and objectives, but also for identifying areas for improvements.
Each day, I reserve my first hours at work to do the most administrative tasks and analyse environmental data – I call these my “focus hours”. Depending on the week, days can be more loaded with meetings for the different projects we are working on and/or webinars from different sustainable coalitions/associations that Mango is a member of. There is never a lack of laughter and good times with the team between meetings and lunchtime.
I like ending my work day by having a quick look at all the things I have done that day, and organising for the next day.
What is the most challenging part of your current position? And the most rewarding?
I would say that the most challenging part is coping with the transversality of sustainability in a huge company as Mango, and collecting the needed data and information.
The most rewarding part is seeing the impact of our work: how through the collective actions of the entire company, we are improving and reducing its environmental impact. It is really gratifying to deal with different aspects of sustainability throughout the whole supply chain, and seeing that other people value the crucial role sustainability has in the industry.
How do you keep up with the latest trends in the retail fashion sector and in corporate sustainability?
Well, that is definitely another great challenge. Without any doubt, one of the things that helps me a lot is following all the associations and coalitions working on sustainability in retail fashion sector on social media, as well as reading lots of reports and articles, and attending key webinars.
Moreover, it helps a great deal that within the team we share interesting articles, documentaries and podcasts that we come across.
How do you think the field will evolve over the next few years?
Apart from becoming more digital, I believe that sustainability will also be an order qualifier for the sector. Consequently, we will see more and more circular, demand-driven, and/or sharing business models.
All brands will stop using complex compositions that hinders the recycling process, and start designing products that are not only easier to recycle (through cradle-to-cradle thinking), but also designed to last longer from the beginning. In the same way, by-products and upcycling are going to become annual projects of every brand.
Moreover, I think that the consumer experience and engagement will be very high up on the agenda of brands. At the end of the day, we cannot forget that fashion is more than just an art, it is too our second skin. Hence, we can find out a lot about our own behaviour if we perform an introspective analysis of our clothing choices. This is because consumption means two things: buying and wearing. However, sometimes we only consider the “buying” part of it, disregarding the “wearing” part. Functional value in eco-effective designs will be a game changer in the upcoming years.
Last but not least, I do believe that large multi-brand conglomerates play a big role in the future of sustainable fashion, and that is because collaboration is needed among all agents involved in the international fashion ecosystem. No one can solve the fashion industry’s problems alone; it requires collective commitment and effort.
What skills do you think are most important for someone interested in a position like yours?
Definitely a tireless willingness to learn – you can never take for guaranteed that you already know enough. Analytical and research skills are also needed to turn data into impactful decisions and actions. Likewise, self-management (knowing how to plan and prioritise), attention to detail, creativity and problem-solving skills are also essential.
Overall, I believe that the soft skills such as a positive attitude, resilience, proactivity, self-confidence, teamworking skills, perseverance and adaptability are the skills that everyone wants to have in a team.
How do you use what you learned at EADA in your current position?
My key learning points at EADA were focused on communication, adaptability and prioritising, as well as developing a cosmopolitan outlook. And these are basically skills I apply every day in my current position, when prioritising the most urgent work to plan my day, adapting to the new needs of the team, maintaining effective communication with buyers and stores across projects, and attending global webinars with a cosmopolitan perspective.
At Mango, I also apply the hard skills I learned in EADA in impact evaluation, sustainable operations, global supply chain management, SDGs, and circular and sharing economies.
What advice do you have for students looking to get into a similar position?
I could say to read lots about the sector, participate in webinars, attend events, surround yourself with people who have experience and know the sector, but at the end of the day, all these things come naturally when you are passionate about something. I believe that if you are passionate and purpose-driven, there is no other secret – with effort and perseverance, you will end up exactly where you want to be. Do not give up on your dreams, enjoy the process, and believe in yourself.