In our last blog, we looked at some of the sustainability challenges currently being faced by the global fashion industry, and highlighted the importance of technology as a means of helping to improve credentials in this area. But which technologies stand to deliver the most value in fashion companies’ green initiatives?
The traditional apparel ecosystem calls for the need to innovate, automate, and reinvent business processes that are involved in the trend spotting, garment design and production, transportation, merchandising, and sales.
Arguably one of the most exciting and game changing technologies to grace this decade, AI can bring cutting-edge revolution and disruption that’s never been seen before in the apparel industry, allowing traditional models and ecosystems to be overhauled and for innovation, automation and the reinvention of business processes.
IoT has the potential to automate our world by allowing us to interact and connect with everyday objects like customers, manufacturers, companies, stores, etc by employing the internet.
IoT will provide value to apparel manufacturers through enabling them to keep track of their inventory more closely, eliminating waste and with potential to monitor the lifecycle of a garment in the recycling or re-use phase.
One area in which it can drive sustainability initiatives is in the quest to create a fashion circular economy. One of the greatest hindrances to creating a circular fashion economy has been product identification and many attempts are stalling because of these issues. A pre-owned item might look exactly like a designer brand, but how can this be validated? How can the new owner be sure of when was it made, where it originates from and what it is made of?
IoT can underpin an item’s digital passport, so that if, for example, a fashion item is worn by a celebrity at an event or used at a fashion show, it can be resold or rented out by a designer clothing hire company, before being sold on again. A digital passport can capture all of this information to ensure that the current owner or user has a clear view of its credentials. Through tracking the entire lifecycle of a garment waste can be reduced substantially.
Clothes production often involves complex global supply chains which are so convoluted that they can’t always guarantee environmentally friendly materials or processes are being used.
Blockchain supports this mission through creating an online public ledger that creates a permanent and accessible record, like a time-stamped digital record which cannot be altered, of every stage of the supply chain. Because Blockchain ensures that data cannot be changed or manipulated,
it provides all parties across the supply chain with certainty that the information is true. This transparency can then help to reduce any environmental impact.
Although there are still challenges to be faced with the widespread adoption of blockchain, the future potential for the technology is evident. Major fashion players have begun to explore how blockchain can help the garment industry work better together while creating a permanent record of the origin of materials used in production.
The role of intelligent ERP
In order to capitalize on these new technologies, it’s crucial to have a robust, scalable, intelligent enterprise solution which represents a backbone, and effective unlocks the potential of any new technologies.
Many modern platforms have dedicated capabilities which are designed to meet the specific needs and nuances of the apparel and footwear industry. Crucially, they facilitate integration across all systems and technologies to ensure maximum visibility of insights, expediting performance and driving real improvements in sustainability across the industry. For information and guidance on how Argentis Systems can support your fashion business with a industry-specific solution, contact us.