Gradually, the days when textile companies used to regard lack of transparency in their supply chain as a competitive advantage are being phased out with new trends developing across markets. Businesses no more want to surround their suppliers and manufacturers with a shroud of secrecy.
In the past, companies were of the opinion that if their suppliers are made known, a competitor company would manage to match their apparel with identical quality. Even customers were of the opinion that there was no need to bother about ethical sourcing and manufacturing when it came to the fashion industry.
In recent times, there has been a gentle shift with people be it companies or customers viewing the transparency aspect differently. This has offset a new consumer trend. This in turn is influenced by companies like Better Kinds, which adopt decentralized manufacturing and inform officially where the clothes come from. Of late, consumers are increasingly making a demand for transparency. Catering to this new trend, companies like Patagonia and Everlane focus on sustainability and supply chain transparency for promoting their unique selling propositions.
However, this new trend has a long way to go in ensuring that all is ethical with supply chains. Even today many companies are unethical in the usage of supply chains. In fact, the global textile industry alone produces 10% of the toxic emissions.
One of the key factors changing trends in fashion industry today is the blockchain technology. It has begun transforming supply chain through techniques such as track and trace and inventory management. In the near future, with the advent of technologies like 3D printing and artificial intelligence, this trend in the apparel industry is expected to accelerate.
The industry has found the solutions offered by blockchain have engendered the ability to create a physical-digital link between goods and their digital identities. It enhances opportunities for transparency in supply chain.