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Talking strategy: new ideas on sustainability, managing waste and technological innovation
published in Issue 5, 1st Quarter 2009
Improving the sustainability of manufacturing operations has become a key strategy for many big players in the global apparel industry. To date, the term has commonly been associated with corporate responsibility, particularly towards the environment and human rights.
However, there are additional benefits to making apparel manufacturing more sustainable, including opportunities to improve margins by managing levels of waste. And these opportunities are not just related to maximising the use of raw materials or minimising energy requirements, but are also associated with improving ways that human resources are utilised, especially in terms of time.
Technological innovation has an important role to play as it helps companies to trim operating costs and, in turn, raise margins or cut prices to improve competitiveness—an imperative which has become even more important in view of the recent global economic slowdown.
In Talking strategy this quarter, Mike Fralix, the president and chief executive officer of the internationally-reputed apparel technology research and consultancy firm [TC]2, explains some new thinking about how to approach the topic of sustainability.
In particular, Dr Fralix gives specific advice on ways in which companies can make changes to improve efficiency without spending money, by carefully inspecting facilities, offices and staff behaviour. In addition, he provides a vision of the future which encompasses the evolution of digital clothing supply chains—from design to retail—that minimise returns and, in turn, reduce waste. These chains rely on three dimensional (3D) body scanners, personal avatars, online dressing facilities and the development of “controlled” virtual shopping communities. Advances in the popularity of e-commerce and online retailing—which are already key growth segments for most clothing retailers—are a given.
Global Apparel Markets provides intelligence, analysis and insight on the global apparel and fashion industries.
What's in it? Each issue contains data and expert analysis on key industry topics, including: artificial intelligence (AI); augmented reality (AR); consumer expenditure; corporate social responsibility (CSR); cotton; denim; environmental sustainability; fibres; imports and exports; key geographical markets; labour law; product innovations; regulation; retail; sourcing; strategy; supply chains; and trade and trade policy.
A single issue of Global Apparel Markets includes:
practical and strategic advice from an industry expert a report on a key geographical market a round-up of the latest product innovations a feature on trade and trade policy comprehensive coverage of the latest business news
An annual subscription to Global Apparel Markets is a cost-effective way to keep informed about trends and developments in the global apparel and fashion industries. Subscriptions are available in printed and/or digital formats. Printed and digital subscribers receive each issue in printed format in addition to a digital PDF file, which is available immediately on publication. Subscribers also receive a complementary digital subscription to Global Apparel Update, delivered directly by email once a month. This free supplement contains essential information on business news and the latest product developments.
Like all Textiles Intelligence publications, Global Apparel Markets is a reliable source of independently sourced business information, and it does not carry advertising.
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"Running the largest online global sourcing marketplace and platform in the world for the Textiles and Apparel industries means I need to keep up with movements everywhere. I find the Global Apparel Markets report from Textiles Intelligence to always be full of great information that confirms to me what I know to be true and tells me what I need to be aware of in the global markets that I might not be. I always look forward to getting it in the mail."
(Tony Forcucci; Global Director, Textiles & Apparel Sourcing P; MFG.com)