Supply Chain As A Crucial Component Of Sustainability In The Fashion Industry

Supply Chain as the Crucial Component associated with Sustainability within the Style Industry


The fashion industry offers always been 1 of the the majority of influential drivers associated with society. For numerous decades, designers associated with apparel dictated the particular rules, and huge numbers of people all over the particular world obeyed all of them. However, with the particular recent emergence associated with the movement in the direction of sustainable development, the particular roles have turned. Nowadays, the EL Sustainable Development Objectives occupy an ordering position and several sectors create goods within accordance with all of them. A number of these goals are usually highly relevant to the style industry, but a pair of them correspond the particular closest to this particular business: goals 9 and twelve (SDG Compass 2015).

Goal nine desires businesses to “build resilient infrastructure, advertise inclusive and lasting industrialisation, and advance innovation” (SDG Compass 2015, p. 7). Goal twelve implores entrepreneurs to “ensure sustainable consumption plus production patterns” (SDG Compass 2015, g. 7). Providing a few objectives as a platform for a conversation of fashion, this seems feasible in order to analyse the ideals and motivations at the rear of the movement in the direction of sustainability in style along with the particular possibilities and difficulties presented by this particular shift.

Currently, the impression will be widespread that lasting practices within the style industry are mostly marginalised and don’t possess a significant impact or encourage change. The apparel industry produces a great amount of waste and has not established the proper conditions for achieving a sustainable profit (Palomo-Lovinski & Hahn 2014).

Researchers note that environmentalists cannot agree upon the types of perspectives that should be engaged in the process of solving the issues associated with the unsustainability of the fashion industry. Many specialists hold that consumers should be the initiators of important changes. However , as Palomo-Lovinski and Hahn (2014) note, consumers are less aware than designers of the processes of production and, as a result, of the steps needed to reach sustainability. Therefore, it is necessary to analyse the motivations behind consumers’ purchasing behaviours and find possibilities for making the apparel industry more sustainable.

The Theoretical Model

While researchers admit that combining sustainability and fashion has been regarded as an oxymoron until recently, they also note that sustainable fashion holds great potential for the future. Aakko and Koskennurmi-Sivonen (2013) offer a theoretical model of sustainable fashion design which will make it easier to understand the research problem (Figure 1). At the core of this model, there is the notion of considered take and return, which involves three design philosophies: cradle to cradle, functional design, and slow fashion.

The cradle to cradle approach, offered by Braungart and McDonough, presupposes that not only the use of natural resources should be involved in fashion design, but the materials’ lifecycle should also be considered (cited in Aakko & Koskennurmi-Sivonen 2013, p. 15). Functional design was introduced by Papanek and is grounded in the view that design should act as the bridge between human being needs, ecology, plus culture (cited inside Aakko & Koskennurmi-Sivonen 2013, p. 15).

The sluggish fashion approach offers not received just as much attention as the particular first two sagesse. Slow style originated from the particular slow food motion and slow style theory. According in order to Clark, idea displays three lines associated with reflection: the openness of production techniques, the appraisal associated with local resources, plus the sustainability of goods (cited in Aakko & Koskennurmi-Sivonen 2013, p. 15).

The second component of the model will be attachment and gratitude. Aakko and Koskennurmi-Sivonen (2013) include like aspects as spiritual techniques, quality, individuality, plus aesthetics here. Lastly, the third main degree of the design involves sourcing components, fabric treatment, manufacturing methods, saving sources, social implications, plus information transparency. Finding materials includes selecting and recycling components and also their own lifecycle.

Fabric treatment deals along with finishing processes plus nanotechnology (Aakko & Koskennurmi-Sivonen 2013). Completing processes cause the particular greatest environmental harm during the stage of production. Lots of energy, water, plus chemicals are used during the procedures of scouring, dyeing, bleaching, desizing, plus printing. While a few of these procedures are essential, other people are not essential and can be eliminated. Meanwhile, nanotechnology has the potential to offer environmental benefits to the industry.

Saving resources depends on such factors as energy efficiency, laundering, repairing, leasing of clothing, and localism. Leasing, repairing, and localism are the most sustainable options, while energy efficiency and enhanced washing are potential methods of approaching durability (Aakko & Koskennurmi-Sivonen 2013). Social ramifications that could result in the apparel industry’s sustainability are interpersonal responsibility, participatory style, and activism. Info transparency, which includes such elements because cause marketing plus ecolabelling, can advertise consumer sustainability in order to a great degree.

There will be some controversy regarding cause marketing because it may be challenging to discern regardless of whether the project will be genuinely targeted at durability or promotion (Aakko & Koskennurmi-Sivonen 2013). As far because ecolabels are worried, they are seen as a successful choice for providing the particular consumer with dependable data on the particular materials used within the production procedure.

Finally, the particular dimension of manufacturing methods involves patternmaking, handcrafting, and the particular supply chain. Along with the help associated with patternmaking, it will be possible to decrease unnecessary waste (Aakko & Koskennurmi-Sivonen 2013). As Rissanen information, clothes cutting prospects to 10-20% associated with fabric waste, that could be eliminated from the integration of painting and patternmaking (cited in Aakko & Koskennurmi-Sivonen 2013, g. 17). Handcrafting can be used as a technique of sustainable manufacturing at the “symbolic level” due in order to the considerable amounts associated with products created with regard to mass markets (Aakko & Koskennurmi-Sivonen 2013, p. 17).

However, even as a small percentage, handcrafting can save energy and resources. The supply chain in the clothing industry can be complicated and time-consuming. However, it is crucial to continue developments in this direction since this has the potential to increase sustainability.

The Apparel Supply Chain

The supply chain in the apparel industry is a complicated operation that usually starts with farmers and fibre producers. The process then moves to textile mills, to clothes manufacturers, and finally to retailers (Alper, cited in Fulton & Lee 2013, p. 355). The production of fibre involves taking man-made or natural materials and making fibres that will later be exploited for producing fabrics and clothes. Agricultural sites for fibre growth are located all over the world, as are the manufacturers of man-made fibres (Fulton & Lee 2013).

Usually, yarns are dyed prior to or after weaving to make patterns and fabrics that consumers and companies want. The process of producing fabric is carried out in textile mills, where the yarn is converted into fabric simply by knitting or weaving cloth or through the non-woven process. The particular problem is that lots of processes of dyeing and handling fibers are harmful in order to the surroundings. Thus presently there is an chance for sustainability to tackle this problem.

The manufacturing of clothing starts with developing an item associated with apparel. Upon completing the first design associated with a garment, design pieces are created, the particular fabric is reduce, and then clothing are labelled plus shipped. Most of these stages can be designed in one place or even in many various spots around the particular world (Fulton & Lee 2013). The greater stages are carried out in a solitary area, the greater lasting the production procedure will be. The particular transport of components as well as the efficient trimming of materials present possibilities for sustainable methods.

Finally, clothing are delivered to merchants that sell all of them to the general public. This phase will be related to displaying the particular product, representing the particular company image, plus offering garments in order to consumers. The chance to show sustainable methods at this stage involves showing what retailers have done to be environmentally friendly (Fulton & Lee 2013). Thus while the supply chain in the apparel industry will be complicated, incorporating lasting processes is not really impossible, and producers should strive in order to do so within their work.

Fulton and Lee (2013) describe the pursuing facets of sustainability within the apparel source chain:

  • fibres/fabrics (no pesticides utilized in fiber growth, clothes produced of organic, reused, biodegradable materials);
  • manufacturing (relationship with suppliers, water usage, reasonable trade/human rights, material waste, relationship along with producers);
  • distribution plus logistics (local production, shipping containers, option fuels);
  • warehouse/store effectiveness (building materials, presentation, building energy/efficiency);
  • post-consumer and beyond (company donations/philanthropy, customer durability programs, laundering plus care, rejection associated with fast fashion).
  • fibres/fabrics (no insect sprays used in fiber growth, clothes produced of organic, reused, biodegradable materials);
  • manufacturing (relationship with suppliers, water usage, fair trade/human rights, fabric waste, relationship with producers);
  • distribution and logistics (local manufacturing, shipping containers, alternative fuels);
  • warehouse/store effectiveness (building materials, item product packaging, building energy/efficiency);
  • post-consumer and beyond (company donations/philanthropy, customer durability programs, laundering plus care, rejection of fast fashion).
  • Supply Chain Governance (SCG) as a Successful Management Tool

    While SCG is gaining more and more interest from researchers, there is still not much literature about it. Li et al. (2014) note that cooperation constitutes the greatest challenge for SCG. Following the enhancement of a competing strategy through intrinsic integration with external associations, the supply chain coordinators estimate the application responsibility by supervising and coordinating distributors and suppliers.

    Li et al. (2014) remark that apart from coordination and cooperation among key partners in the supply chain, there is also the factor of reputation risk to consider. If a focal company that serves as a supply chain coordinator makes an error, such as selecting suppliers without respecting ethical or environmental issues, it can lead to serious criticism of environmental or social obligations. Thus, sustainable governance is suggested as a means of managing and predicting potential risks (Li et al. 2014).

    SCG focuses on coordinating the resources of all participants in a supply chain. An optimistic view of the relationships can be gained through the perspective of a resource-based view. Li et al. (2014) note that although many researchers have concentrated on studying SCG, the concept still lacks an unanimous definition. Therefore scholars suggest a sustainability governance framework which depicts the motivations and connotations of governance (Figure 2).

    Motivation by internal needs is associated with a supply chain being formed by various actors (manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, distributors, and customers). All of these actors are connected through the focal company, and a supply chain needs to reach an effective equilibrium of the following factors to secure its sustainable development:

    • willingness to collaborate;
    • common objectives;
    • communication of information among the supply chain members (Li et al. 2014).
  • willingness to collaborate;
  • common objectives;
  • communication of information among the supply chain members (Li et al. 2014).
  • Motivation by external needs is based on Maslow’s theory of needs hierarchy. Li et al. (2014) have adjusted this approach to consumer motivations based on the satisfaction perspective. The following needs have been identified:

  • physiological: customers require only the basic function from the product;
  • safety: consumers are concerned with the physical impacts caused by products;
  • love: buyers worry about whether the item can be used to promote their social image;
  • esteem: consumers appraise the product’s symbolism;
  • [newline]

    self-actualisation: customers get their personal and set brand priorities (Li et al. 2014).
  • Motivations for Engaging within Sustainable Consumption: Outcomes from a Qualitative Study

    While examining motivations for durability, Bly, Gwozdz, plus Reisch (2015) determine three major sorts: consumption as sustainability’s opposite, sustainability like a facilitator of design, and sustainable style like a source associated with pleasure and wellbeing. Based on their own qualitative analysis associated with people’s conceptualisations associated with sustainability, scholars determine that “consumption may be the antithesis of sustainability” (Bly, Gwozdz & Reisch 2015, g. 129).

    As a result, the particular pioneers of lasting fashion consumption are usually sceptical of style retailers’ sustainability attempts. Respondents declare whilst fashion producers possess made some efforts to reach durability, their business will be largely contingent upon hyperconsumption. Most individuals have determined that will sustainability can be an alternative endeavour covering each environmental and interpersonal issues. So that it might not be feasible to reach durability in fast style. Moreover, if a good organisation links durability to profit, the efforts will likely become regarded as untrustworthy (Bly, Gwozdz & Reisch 2015).

    Concerning sustainability as a facilitator of style, scholars note that respondents’ engagement with sustainable consumption induces deeper notions of self. Apart from this, sustainability helps strengthen such aspirations and values as individuality and “freedom from the fashion system and mass culture” (Bly, Gwozdz & Reisch 2015, p. 130). According to scholars, participants conceptualise this idea by appealing to the word ‘style’ and differentiating between ‘fashion’ and ‘style. ’

    Respondents also tend to discern between their own consumer behaviours and those of the people following the mainstream. Unlike fashion, which is associated with concepts such as ‘short-term, ’ ‘dictation from above, ’ and ‘trendy, ’ style is regarded as something involving self-awareness and creativity (Bly, Gwozdz & Reisch 2015). Thus sustainable consumption has a positive effect on individuals’ style and self-awareness.

    Sustainable fashion is a source of pleasure and well-being since it allows people to experience personal growth and pleasure. Respondents explain that sustainable consumption of fashion industry products contributes to “a better way of life” (Bly, Gwozdz & Reisch 2015, p. 130). Individuals explain that the pleasure they used to feel in relation to consumption has been taken over by nobler goals, such as self-fulfilment or self-enhancement. Participants of the study associate well-being and pleasure with comfort, not in a “corporeal sense” but in association with confidence and freedom (Bly, Gwozdz & Reisch 2015, p. 130).

    The Sphere of Influence on the Industry

    Taking into consideration the aspects of the problem discussed above, it seems viable to conclude that sustainable development will have a great effect on the progress of the apparel industry. More and more people are altering their consumption habits to conform to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, more and more designers and retailers are finding themselves in the situation where their clothes do not sell out because of the lack of a supply chain. It is obvious that the process of changing the whole industry’s direction to a more sustainable route is not a fast or easy matter.

    However, the tendencies noticed by college students usually do not leave any kind of doubts about the particular influential role associated with sustainable initiatives within the progress from the apparel business. Consequently , to keep upward with current plus future environmental plus societal trends, the needs to go through numerous substantial modifications. If fashion supervisors start employing source chain governance within their organisations, these people will gain a chance to enhance the chance of addressing plus reaching a minimum of a few of the EL Sustainable Development Objectives by 2030.

    Conclusion and Implications

    Sustainability has turn out to be an essential element of virtually every world of recent existence. Nevertheless, within the apparel business, which plays the highly significant part in many people’s lives, not sufficient attempts toward getting sustainability are becoming made. To be able to assist companies be a little more lasting, researchers have analysed consumers’ behaviours plus motivations and recommended solutions which could create the transformation simpler.

    A instead effective model associated with sustainable fashion style was created simply by Aakko and Koskennurmi-Sivonen (2013). This process promotes such aspects as considered get and return, connection and appreciation, info transparency, sourcing components, saving resources, sociable implications, and other people as viable choices for sustainability. One of the ideas suggested, environmentally-friendly fabric treatment and provide chain governance are usually viewed as the particular solutions with the particular most potential.

    While scholars confess that supply string governance is hard to implement, these people also emphasize it is the best method to control the manufacturing and selling apparel items whilst taking sustainability into consideration. Consumers also note that more productive management is needed to encourage and control the sustainability endeavours of clothing companies. Thus the fashion industry has the potential to reach goals for sustainability, but it is essential to transform many approaches and shift away from some current practices.

    Reference List

    Aakko, M & Koskennurmi-Sivonen, R 2013, ‘Designing sustainable fashion: possibilities and challenges’, Research Journal of Fabric and Apparel, volume. 17, number one, pp. 13-22.

    Bly, S, Gwozdz, W & Reisch, LA 2015, ‘Exit from the high-street: an exploratory research of sustainable style consumption pioneers’, International Journal of Customer Studies, vol. 39, pp. 125-135.

    Fulton, K & Lee, S-E 2013, ‘Assessing sustainable endeavours of apparel merchants on the internet’, Journal of Style Marketing and Management, vol. 17, number 3, pp. 353-366.

    Li, Con, Zhao, X, Shi, D & Li, X 2014, ‘Governance of sustainable provide chains in the particular fast fashion industry’, European Management Journal, vol. 32, pp. 823-836.

    Palomo-Novinski, N & Hahn, K 2014, ‘Fashion design industry thoughts of current lasting practices’, Fashion Practice, vol. 6, simply no. 1, pp. 87-106.

    SDG Compass: the manual for people who do buiness action upon the SDGs 2015. Web.

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