The International Apparel Federation (IAF) has published its ‘2021 Priority Issues’. IAF’s vision leading to the formulation of priority issues is built on its conviction that the keys to building a better industry can be found in the operation of the supply chain, including the processes, the relations, the contracts and the flows of finance that comprise it. To escape a deflationary spiral the apparel industry is making a transition to a sourcing model based on flexibility and the reduction of uncertainty. The current predominant adversarial relations in the supply chain are a barrier to this transition. Flexibility requires investments in processes that stretch across the supply chain and so these processes can only be carried out when buyers and their suppliers collaborate.
Following this vision, in 2021 therefore IAF’s fulfilment of its mission to unite the industry to enable and promote stronger, smarter and more sustainable supply chains will be a strong focus. Institutional infrastructure is another area of focus. IAF believes the apparel industry needs a better global, institutional industry infrastructure. Similarly, bringing knowledge to associations, training them and coaching them can have a great multiplier effect as they in turn educate their member companies. IAF also believes the industry needs all-out, all-forces-joined drive for digitization. The industry must accelerate its efforts to increase the transparency of its supply chains.
The essence to the greening of the industry is a supply chain wide, collaborative approach. Pledges to reduce CO2 emissions are important but not sufficient. The costs and the rewards of transformation need to be shared better in the supply chain. IAF will focus on bringing the manufacturers’ voice more clearly into the global industry infrastructure that is being built to reduce apparel’s global environmental footprint.