How sustainability affects the fashion supply chain
The fashion industry is a complex system of production and consumption that has come under scrutiny in recent years for its impact on the environment and working conditions.
As consumers become more aware of the retail industry's issues, they are demanding changes from brands and retailers. In response, some companies are beginning to rethink their supply chains with an eye toward sustainability.
What is sustainability?
In general, sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
When it comes to fashion, this means ensuring that the materials and processes used to create clothing do not damage or deplete the earth's resources. It also means ensuring that the workers in the entire supply chain are treated fairly and paid a living wage.
What is Fashion Supply Chain?
A fashion supply chain is the system of production and consumption that brings clothing and other fashion items to market. Fashion supply chains include raw materials, designers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers.
In recent years, the fashion industry has been harshly criticized for its negative environmental impact, as well as unethical practices and poor working conditions. Some companies are now beginning to reevaluate their supply chains with the goal of sustainable management.
What are the benefits of sustainable fashion supply chains?
Sustainable supply chains have many potential benefits, including reduced environmental impact, improved working conditions, ethical production processes, and increased consumer confidence.
A more sustainable supply chain can help reduce the fashion industry's environmental impact in several ways:
- By using sustainable materials, such as organic cotton or recycled polyester.
- Sustainable manufacturing processes, such as using less water or generating less waste.
- Ensuring that workers in the fashion supply chain are treated fairly and paid a living wage.
Sustainable fashion improves environmental health and working conditions.
As the world becomes increasingly aware of the need to protect the environment, sustainable fashion is gaining popularity. Sustainable fashion is clothing made from sustainable materials, such as recycled or organic materials. It is also produced in a way that minimizes the impact on the environment, such as using energy-efficient production processes.
As sustainable fashion grows in popularity, it has the potential to make a positive impact on both the environment and the lives of workers around the world. Sustainable fashion not only helps to improve environmental health but can also lead to improved working conditions for those involved in its production. In many cases, sustainable fashion is produced by small businesses or cooperatives that provide fair wages and good working conditions for their employees.
Consumers Demand Greener Solutions
Consumers are increasingly demanding greener solutions from the brands they buy from. A recent study found that nearly 60% of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services with a positive environmental impact.
Transparency and traceability
Transparency and traceability are key to creating sustainable fashion supply chains.
Transparency means that all stakeholders in the supply chain, from the farmer who grows the cotton to the consumer who buys the shirt, are aware of the conditions under which the clothing was produced.
Traceability means that it is possible to track where materials and products come from and how they were made.
An eco-friendly fashion supply chain is transparent and traceable. Ensuring that all stakeholders are aware of the conditions under which clothing is produced makes it possible to improve working conditions and environmental impact throughout the fashion industry.
Innovative materials and solutions
One example of an innovative material is recycled polyester. Recycled polyester is made from post-consumer plastics, such as water bottles or food packaging. It requires less energy and water to produce than virgin polyester and produces fewer emissions.
Another example of an innovative solution is the use of sustainable dyes. These dyes are made from natural materials, such as plants or minerals. They are non-toxic and do not require the use of harmful chemicals.
The fashion industry has begun to adopt these innovative materials and solutions in response to consumer demand for more sustainable products. As the demand for long-lasting fashion grows, so does the need for innovative materials and solutions that can help designers cut their environmental impact.
These commitments can take various forms, such as using sustainable materials, investing in renewable energy, or reducing water usage. Fashion brands are working on setting and achieving these goals to create a more sustainable future for the fashion industry.
A New Generation of Sustainable Customers
While millennials and Gen Z represent a growing share of the consumer demographic, they're not all economic potatoes yet. As such, companies should act now to protect against future reputational impacts or loss in market position due to their inability (or refusal) towards sustainability.
This will be an increasingly important factor as we see more scrutiny on corporate actions operating under current conditions regarding climate change, amongst other issues.
Reducing Fashion Supply Chain Overproduction
When fashion companies cannot track their supply chain, they can experience high levels of overproduction. Solutions like digital tracking provide the visibility needed for sustainability by reducing this issue in many ways, including cutting down on waste and helping with consumer demand.
The fashion industry is at a turning point. Sustainable practices are no longer a trend; it is a necessity. To create a sustainable future for fashion, brands must be transparent and traceable in their supply chains. They must also invest in innovative materials and solutions that reduce their environmental impact. Finally, they must make climate commitments and engage with a new generation of sustainable customers. At State of Matter, we are committed to sustainable practices, and are here to innovate sustainable, stylish new solutions in menswear.