Apparel Sourcing Week, 20 - 22 February 2020 - Bengaluru, India
18 - 20 February 2021
Bengaluru, India

Press Release 4 June 2021

Sustainability is about change and collaborative efforts for change

It is a proven fact that fashion is among the most environmentally and socially damaging industries in the world. The supply chain has many gaps that are potential killers from poorly regulated manufacturing destinations, dangerous working conditions, pollution and over-extraction of water to massive amounts of textile waste ending up in landfills – thus, the challenges to sustainability are mounting at an escalating pace.

In this backdrop, there has been a significant movement towards sustainable production and fashion. Recycling discarded materials and garments, upcycling clothing, utilising renewable resources, clothes-swapping, second-hand shopping and garment rentals are becoming increasingly common among consumers. Voices for better working conditions and a more balanced supply chain, are getting louder. As a result of this very visible momentum, the sustainable fashion market is growing at a faster rate than the rest of the industry. Yet, there a still many miles to travel, which have been highlighted following the Covid-19 pandemic.
A recent report by Fashion Revolution in association with Oxford Development Consultancy (ODC) has some interesting observations on the foundations of which the sustainability movements need to move forward. The four pillars are:
 
1. Consumer is now driving the sustainable trend:
On Twitter, the hashtag #SustainableFashion has been growing rapidly, a conversation that has been largely driven by women (71 per cent) and 18-24-year-olds (52 per cent), indicating that Generation Z and the Millennials are increasingly concerned about environmental and social causes. On Instagram, #Sustainable has grown five-fold in the last 3 years, and consumer attitudes have become increasingly eco-conscious.
 
2. The Eco-movement is not only about branding
The public image of a company or organisation is often tied to their practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), hence the sense of responsibility is being driven by the corporate anxiety to sustain positive branding vis-à-vis activist groups, as opposed to legitimate concerns about labour, methods of production, or the damage caused to nature. This often leads to what is now being called – greenwashing.
 
3. Need for transparency to attain true sustainability:
Given the dangers of greenwashing, the fashion industry requires accountability, reinforced by tracking tools which record and evaluate sustainable practices and their impacts. The 2020 Fashion Transparency Index revealed that 54 per cent of the assessed brands score 20 per cent or less in transparency with regard to environmental and social issues, and many had not taken any steps to increase their transparency between 2017 and 2020.
 
4. Sustainable change does not happen on its own:
The biggest roadblock to sustainability is the lack of collaborative efforts between the stakeholders - governments, NGOs, civil-society organisations, designers, brands and consumers. Yet, it is their efforts which have taken the movement so far. To strengthen efforts in sustainability, bright spots and exemplary initiatives must be set-up as benchmarks for others to follow. Collaborations are the only way to attain true sustainable growth.
 

About Apparel Sourcing Week 2020

Apparel Sourcing Week 2020, a three-day Sourcing Show not only provides the Asian manufacturers a platform to showcase their products & manufacturing capabilities to the Brands & Retailers from all over the world including India, but also extends them a chance to attend the multiple seminars (headed by industry experts), workshops, open-house discussions and networking opportunities organised during these three days, which would help the manufacturers get a better understanding of Indian and International Retail and evolving dynamics of sourcing in various markets and retail formats.

About the Organiser

Apparel Resources is well known for its benchmark publications – Apparel Online, StitchWorld and Resource Guide published from India, Bangladesh & Vietnam. These publications have been around in the industry for over 35 years, supporting, guiding and standing by garment exporters and the retail industry globally, providing them a platform to source better.