Blog: Demystifying the sustainability debate
Leonie Barrie | 3 June 2009
Retailers, brands and manufacturers are repeatedly being told that to be viable in the long-term they must be as ethical, sustainable and environmentally-friendly as possible, since even cash-strapped shoppers still care about the provenance of their clothing. But what exactly does this mean?
There’s certainly more to it than simply switching to organic cotton in some of your clothing lines. But surprisingly, given the buzz that surrounds the whole issue of sustainability, there is no clear definition of what it stands for – and even less information on how to achieve it.
So the University of Delaware should be applauded for trying to put the debate into context with its guide to “Creating a More Environmentally Sustainable Apparel Business: Policies for Apparel Brands and Retailers.”
Recommendations from the University’s Sustainable Apparel Initiative (UDSAI) include cutting excess manufacturing by balancing supply with demand, learning from your mistakes, and thinking about a garment’s end-of-life when choosing materials, designing, and producing it.
Yes they might seem simplistic, but with the general confusion surrounding the use of phrases like “social responsibility” or “corporate citizenship,” and with many firms still making unspecific and unsupported claims about a product's environmental impact, it’s important to set out a structure that can be easily followed.
Confirmation that digital supply chains are top of mind for apparel industry executives came last week with the latest plans from global sourcing specialist Li & Fung....
As a barometer of the issues top of mind for apparel sourcing executives, it is hard to beat the annual Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. ...
Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...
The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...
- Why collaboration is key to fashion supply chains
- Rana Plaza four years on – Timeline of change
- Trump and Brexit get a dose of pragmatism
- Industry groups reaffirm commitment to Bangladesh
- Using worker surveys to drive supply chain change
- Adidas to digitalise Speedfactory concept
- M&S extends sourcing deal with Lindsey brothers
- Nike filed patent for "reinforced denim"
- US Q1 in brief – Columbia Sportswear, Amazon
- Brandix rolls out Tukatech systems
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2022
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Clothing Market in the Top 5 American Countries to 2021 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar