The Textile and Apparel sectors today represent a fundamental key for the national and global economy. According to a report published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Fashion Industry employs over 300 million people across the value chain, and apparel production has doubled over the past 15 years. The latter trend is the result of the "Fast Fashion" phenomenon which brings with it an exponential growth of the items offered for each collection with a consequent decrease in sales prices.
Considering the Fashion Industry, there are several examples of brands that are already preferring ecological fabrics, and many of them are committed to reaching 100% use of less polluting fabrics of natural origin or to reducing CO2 emissions. The road is certainly very long and the advantages of circular models on the environment and society are numerous. The contribution of the consumer who is already attentive to the composition of the garments and more sensitive to the features of the Supply Chain will be central as well.
The Circular Fashion Fibers Initiative, created with the aim of bringing together leading companies to project new sustainable and circular fashion systems, predicts that by 2050 the consumption of non-renewable resources would reach 300 million tons and 22 million microplastic fibers would be poured into the oceans. It is evident that the commitment to the construction of new business models and to the development of strategies in support of sustainable fashion is an urgent imperative.
"Sustainable fashion" is one of the most searched words on Google starting from the Pandemic and many brands in the Fashion sector are attentive to the needs of the new consumer, putting sustainability at the core of their production and sales processes: from 2019 to 2021 percentage of garments labeled as "sustainable" has increased by 176% and it is estimated that the trend will grow in the coming years. These data represent a clear indicator of consumers' approach to the garments they wear, as shown by a Survey published by the biotechnology company Genomatica, according to which 58% of consumers are sensitive to the materials used in the garments they buy.
In the sign of sustainability, therefore, the linear model should be replaced with a circular economy model that aims to extend the life of the garments and support the concepts of reuse and recycling.
To measure sustainability performance from the beginning to the end of the fashion value chain, brands can count on the precious support of technology and data governance systems. In fact, data convey valuable information on the use of materials and on the efficiency of processes starting from the design phase of the garment. However, in order to interpret them correctly, data must be easily traceable and transparent, two aspects that make the commitment of brands to the issues of Social Responsibility more explicit.
The Supply Chain is certainly the most favorable ecosystem to put into practice elements such as traceability and transparency and digitalization and technology become catalysts for change. For brands, guaranteeing a traceable supply chain means not only providing the controlled origin of materials and ensuring credibility in front of the consumer, but it also means giving a concrete contribution to reducing waste and overproduction, positively impacting over environment and people.