Global apparel brands are making investment in advanced technology to increase efficiency and sales.
The digital business of industrial thread maker Coats has created a fair wage tool and digital feedback loop to help brands and retailers agree to the fair living wage allowance for any given garment, in any factory, while bringing transparency to conversations regarding time, cost and compliance.
A new consortium has launched to explore promising technologies in the sphere of cellulosic chemical recycling. Spearheaded by global sustainable fashion innovation platform Fashion for Good, the project aims to create a closed loop system which converts cotton and cotton-blend textile waste to produce new man-made cellulosic fibres, says a GlobalData report.
US speciality retailer Gap has partnered with Textile Exchange to develop a Preferred Fiber Toolkit (PFT) to help sourcing and design teams meet their sustainability goals. The PFT utilises quantitative data inputs from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s (SAC) Higg Materials Sustainability Index to evaluate raw material choices.
Product development and production management platform SupplyCompass has launched a library of deadstock fabric options alongside NYC-based tech firm Queen of Raw. SupplyCompass says the launch comes as a direct result of increasing demand for such fabric which has only accelerated since COVID-19.
Beth Wright, Apparel Correspondent at GlobalData, said: “The Covid-19 crisis strengthened consumer demand for fashion that is produced sustainably, on both an environmental and social level. Key to their success will be technology, whether it be investing in new tools to boost supply chain visibility, or in solutions to aid the development and uptake of greener fabrics.”
Improvement in efficiency
Zara owner Zara owner Inditex has unveiled a 2.7 billion euro ($3 billion) investment in technology to make it easier for customers to track the items they want, blurring the lines between online and in-store shopping.
Using the fashion retailer’s app, shoppers will be able to browse a specific store’s stock to buy items for collection the same day, reserve a changing room, find garments in store via a map and self check-out using QR codes.
Inditex uses radio frequency technology, attached as a chip to the alarm on clothing, to keep track of stock. This tracking technology, already in use for some time at its brands like Zara and Massimo Dutti, will be used across all the group’s brands by the end of 2020.
Inditex managed to keep inventory 10 percent lower – a testament to its short lead times and ability to react quickly to changes in demand.
In contrast, H&M said its stocks of unsold goods had grown to just above 41 billion Swedish crowns ($4.2 billion) at the end of April, from 37.2 billion at the end of February and 40 billion a year earlier.
Inditex in September 2020 said the strengthening of the integrated shopping experience and of the online sales capacity, helped online receive 1 million orders in one day for the first time during the second quarter.
Inditex’s brands received close to 3 billion online visits and their social networks reached a record of 190 million followers over the first seven months (February to August).