Clothing brands can improve their speed to market and sustainabilty through the development of shipping hubs near their sourcing markets, delegates at the Sri Lanka Design Festival were told today (16 November).

Logistics accounts for some 5.5% of global emissions, and the increasing desire to get products into stores more quickly has the potential to increase costs and carbon issues, says Jil Hellmann Regouby, business development manager at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics.

While air freighting fast fashion leads to a higher carbon footprint, transporting by sea may mean that products don't make it to their final destination in time.

Companies can reduce speed to market and improve their sustainability by shipping products direct to their final market - instead of shipping from Asia, then to the brand's home market and then out again to the retail destination, which could potentially be back to Asia.

Hellmann Regouby added that this process can also help when shipping to EU countries, since it reduces the amount of high carbon trucking and can reduce costs.

The logistics firm is also working to "close the loop," says Hellmann Regouby, explaining that although around 80% of clothing ends up in landfill, this resource can instead be reused or recycled. To this end, Hellmann is working with retailers and a company called iCo to collect consumers' used items and recyle them.