Below, you’ll find the introduction of the report “Style that’s sustainable. A new fast fashion formula” by the international consulting firm McKinsey.
In my opinion, this is an article you can’t stop reading and analyzing, which is why I make it easy for you to download it. If you believe that “fast fashion” and “sustainability” aren’t antagonistic terms but perfectly complementary, this is the consultation report you have to have with you all the time.
“Stylish and accessible clothes have been successful with costumers. Now, companies are trying to diminish their social and environmental costs”.
The early years of the 21st century have been really good for the clothing industry. Thanks to the reduction of costs, more efficient operations and the increase of sales, the production of clothes has duplicated since the year 2000 to the year 2014 and the number of clothing items purchased each year by the average costumer increased by 60%. Fast fashion has been an especially active segment and a growth source many clothing companies may envy. The production cycles became shorter and updated designs were created not only to expand the costumer’s wardrobes but also to generate a fast and constant renovation. Along almost all the clothing categories, costumers keep their clothes almost half the time people did 15 years ago. Some estimations suggest that the costumers see less expensive clothes almost as if it were disposable and they get rid of them after having worn them only seven or eight times.
Sustainability and CSR.
However, it’s still true that the innovation in the way clothes are manufactured didn’t keep up with the speed at which they are designed and commercialized. Nowadays, fast fashion is a big and sophisticated business, powered by a system of fragmented production and low technology. This system has enormous environmental effects: manufacturing clothes generally requires a large amount of water and chemical substances and this process produces considerable amounts of greenhouse gases. There are also reports written by people who work in textile factories which state that they are poorly paid and exposed to unsafe –even deadly– labor conditions, especially when they handle materials such as cotton or leather, which require extensive treatments. If the way clothes are manufactured doesn’t improve, these problems will proportionally increase as more items of clothing are manufactured.
Style that’s sustainable. A new fast fashion formula.
So far, the increase in sales suggests that most costumers ignore or tolerate the social and environmental costs of fast fashion. However, some companies are not going to wait for the negative response of the costumers and have already started to deal with the impact that is broadly unseen by the fast fashion business. In this report, it is considered how the clothing industries can face the challenges in the main segments of their value chain: the high demand of resources and the difficult labor issues in the production process; and the excessive waste related to the disposal of outdated or used clothes.
I hope this report provides information and value to your professional management!
Access here to download the report.
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