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Complete overhaul of business model to help industry become more sustainable

"Owning to its faulty approach, the fashion industry’s sustainability efforts have remained largely insufficient. Instead of completely overhauling its business model, so far the industry has only been focusing on recycled materials, waste and rented clothing. The latest ‘Pulse of the Fashion Industry’ report by Global Fashion Agenda states only 60 per cent companies are making visible efforts towards sustainability. However, they need to scale deeper in order to be completely sustainable."

Complete overhaul of business model to help industry become moreOwning to its faulty approach, the fashion industry’s sustainability efforts have remained largely insufficient. Instead of completely overhauling its business model, so far the industry has only been focusing on recycled materials, waste and rented clothing. The latest ‘Pulse of the Fashion Industry’ report by Global Fashion Agenda states only 60 per cent companies are making visible efforts towards sustainability. However, they need to scale deeper in order to be completely sustainable. At its present rate of development, the industry will be able to meet neither the Paris Agreement nor the Sustainable Development goals.

To achieve this, companies need to set competition aside to partner with opponents for the sake of the industry at large. They also need to look at new materials that they have not yet explored.

Lack of accountability, insufficient infrastructure

One big reason for the industry’s failure to achieve its sustainability goals includes lack of accountability byComplete overhaul of business model to help industry become more sustainable supply chains. Neither end of the supply chain has taken the reins in driving sustainable change. Though some companies have adopted circularity as a cure for all their sustainability woes, they have been unable to address the issue sufficiently. Even designers are being trained to create products in such a way that they can be recycled. However, lack of sufficient infrastructures prevents the industry from achieving its goals.

Increasing collaborations, rewards to help achieve sustainability goals As Amina Razvi, Executive Director of Sustainable Apparel Coalition points out, to tackle this problem, brands will need to reconcile sustainability with some of the more important economic metrics driving the fashion industry—like growing demands that have brands stocking up on endless inventory.

Supply chain improvements, rewards to increase sustainability

To provide a solution to this problem, Global Fashion Agenda has assembled a think tank with key stakeholders, including McKinsey & Company that focuses on improvements to supply chain efficiencies. However, this alone will not solve the problem. The industry also needs to reward companies that are truly sustainable. They also need to outline the key leverage points for making the sector more sustainable by collaborating with other industries.

The industry can’t solve its problems with the thoughts that created it. It needs to start talking to economists, different industries to come up with the key leverage points to focus on.

 
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