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Why it is high time for all the apparel brands to go sustainable?

March 27, 2018 Vani Singh
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   1)      Cost of Raw Material


The fashion trade has evolved employing a linear model once it involves raw materials, typically expressed as "take, make, and waste." However, as is changing into unquestionably clear, a number of the resources fashion depends upon to make its product area unit finite, most critically — H2O. Dyeing with treatment processes use huge amounts of water; to create a pair of jeans and a tee shirt takes 20k litres in line according to the WWF. Over seventy % of that water usage is within the agriculture of cotton, that is among the materials with the very best environmental impact in conjunction with silk, wool and animal skin.


A McKinsey & Company report titled "Charting our Water Future" predicts that water consumption desires can outstrip provide by forty p.c in 2030. additionally to the price implications of water changing into progressively scarce, and its use changing into a lot of regulated, a business model that operates on the one use of raw materials is currently believed to be indefensible future. merchandise used and discarded by shoppers area unit too valuable to lose to lowland or combustion. Unless technology will a lot of expeditiously recycle used clothes, and collect enough material, current consumption rates don't seem to be property.

Profitability levels are in danger by a minimum of three share points if fashion brands don’t act determinedly very soon.


   2)      Labour Violation



In addition to the inherent waste that fashion’s linear economy creates, several of the geographies that fashion depends upon for affordable labour area unit at high risk of environmental disruption. The extreme climatic conditions expected to become a lot of common within the coming future are possible to impact the bread and butter and living quality of various garment employees, resulting in to supply chain inefficiency and decreasing output

According to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), four out of the 5 countries most plagued by rising ocean levels area unit fashion’s biggest producing hubs: China, Vietnam, India and Bangla Desh. In unaffected areas, the price of labour is predicted to rise considerably. As fashion makers full-fledged over the last fifteen years in China, once economic growth up-skilled the rising middle- class, continued development in existing producing hubs can draw near wages.


   3)      Transport


The logistic companies also face an unstable future. As oil fields become harder to access and also the price of extraction rises, oil costs will increase.

“Should the oil worth soar to a four-digit figure, regionalization of providing chains and relocation of production sites would be the consequence,” say the authors of PWC’s report, "Transportation 2030." If provide chains were to be regionalized, the ramifications for international fashion businesses would be extreme — maybe insurmountable. though that will be associating in nursing an unlikely situation, the report argues that the numerous price fluctuations witnessed in oil markets in recent years, together with a forty-five % increase from June to July in 2008, clarifies how sensitive oil costs are to short-run market imbalances.


   4)      Higher regulations


The increasing shortage of resources like oil and water means that regulation can play an increasing role within the producing of important raw materials like cotton. "The Pulse of the style Industry" report envisages 2 situations through that higher levels of regulation area unit incorporated.


The authors’ most important scenario sees the trade establishing its own sustainability standards and bodies, that are then acknowledged and approved by international regulatory bodies. This situation may be bolstered by legislation that incentivizes sustainable practices like tax breaks.      

The second scenario sees international regulators “taking half way more sharply, launching a brand new generation of gain for everyone,” in line with Seara. “Due to increasing cost pressures, increasing consumer pressure, and eventual regulator pressure of some form, whoever doesn’t get on the wagon of fixing the foundation, collaborating with others to improve, they will not be part of the game.”


   5)      Shopper’s sentiment

By 2020, millennials are the foremost varied demographic within the international manpower, which implies fashion businesses should currently cater to their preferences, instead of those of generation X. Millennials systematically establish sustainability as an element that influences their buying habits. However, since a 3rd of millennials say they would any day prefer companies that are mindful of social responsibility (just 1 / 4th of these over 51 say the same, as quoted by BCG) “a tiny proportion of all consumers are willing to pay more for a sustainable product.”


A number of leading fashion businesses are pioneering sustainable initiatives, driven by each environmental concern and industrial opportunity. H&M has led the path in reducing the carbon footprint of its store network and has pledged to double its energy productivity by 2030. By that year, H&M additionally aims to use solely recycled or alternative sustainably sourced materials in its merchandise. In 2016, this share was 26 % (although 43 % of H&M’s cotton came from sustainable sources. The goal is to use solely such cotton by 2020). “Strategic stakeholder engagement — like Organic Cotton Accelerator and Canopy Style — is vital,” says Eileen Fisher, founder of the said sustainable fashion brand.

In addition to the optimum use of sustainable and recycled materials, circular economic principles are being designed into merchandise. In Feb 2012, Nike bought its Flyknit trainers, with uppers made up of microengineered polyester that's light-weight and form-fitting. the planning reduces waste by concerning 60 % compared to ancient cut-and-sew footwear construction. And this month, Adidas launched 3 new trainer designs made up of recycled ocean plastic. Every pair uses eleven plastic bottles and also the company's goal is to create 1,000,000 pairs from recycled plastic this year alone.

Positive steps also are going down within the luxury sector; Kering’s "Clean by Design" programme was developed in 2014 with the Natural Resources Defense Council to boost the water and energy potency of textile mills. In April, it completed the primary section of the programme at twenty-four of the group’s suppliers.

“It is about linking our business operations and our sustainability goals — how we source, how we manufacture, how we sell our products — and ensuring that sustainability also adds business value,” says Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering.




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Vani Singh

Vani Singh is a Consultant at ThreadSol. She is a graduate from FDDI and has more than 3 years of experience in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management

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