Sustainable textile manufacturing.
Achieving a sustainable, responsible textile industry is the path to create value in origin, therefore creating value in the product and the brand.
At the end of 1980, western textile industries started to produce their collections in China. Then they shifted the manufacturing process to other countries such as Cambodia and Bangladesh. The geographical path went from west to east and it was a journey in search for the factories that would be able to offer the best prices. By doing so, companies have created new jobs in the markets where they placed their orders.
In order to have and maintain a manufacturing chain that is ethically reliable, it is necessary to be in the factories. One must thoroughly know each one of the factories manufacturing the product. While this sounds quite obvious, it is not currently the reality in 100% of cases. The local team must visit the factories regularly. The static image of a photo from a previous audit will not do. That image will be obsolete by now. You need to look at the current situation, the renewed and live condition. What is happening at the factory in this very instant. You must create the film of the factory life through regular, constant visits; the goal is to notice the progress of an approved situation or the changes that undermine it.
We can achieve transparency in our supply chain through long-term relationships with providers, closely monitored by local teams in their regular inspections.
Outsourcing and traceability.
Outsourcing –a denied but certainly normal procedure in the textile industry is often cited as the main cause for the loss of visibility and transparency in the supply chain. When providers outsource the manufacturing to other facilities, the company that issued the original production order will have little or no visibility of the site and the process used to manufacture its products, unless the company has an adequate control process and system.
Original providers can outsource only if that second facility has been inspected, audited and approved by the client or the brand.
A new generation of disruptive and technological inspection and auditing companies make it possible to achieve total traceability of the product and visibility of the textile production, thus fixing the problem that stems from outsourcing.
Value in the supply chain.
One thing is a consequence of the other. When you have a portfolio with a very good factory in terms of work ethics and safety, the product quality will also be exceptional. Hence, there will be fewer returns, fewer rejections and fewer problems with the clients.
Textile companies and large distribution brands are already mass publishing the global principles of sourcing, addressing the standards on ethical issues, from the protection of labor unions, to working hours, wages and safety. They establish rules regarding workers’ rights, health, and promote financial education for their workers.
There are tangible cases of world-renown brands demonstrating that a sustainable business plan is effective and it creates value, not only for the companies’ shareholders, but also for those who manufacture the products in origin. In short, it creates value across the entire chain, from origin to destination.
MBetter conditions, improved job stability and professional commitment.
Currently, it is quite challenging for the textile sector to maintain specialized staff in certain countries where there is a shortage of labor or a decrease in skills and technical expertise. The only way to create stability and maintain a professionalized supply chain with increasing efficiency is by offering good and better working conditions for factory workers. This helps to achieve the primary goal which is to improve the conditions for workers and their families and, as an added result, by significantly reducing staff turnover and absenteeism, to increase productivity.
The values of a brand, which drive the choices of the consumer, are the values that those responsible for sourcing and supply must create and foster in the supply chain.
Then, let’s create value!
This article was originally published in Modaes.es