Can on-demand production take off in the fashion industry?
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, reportedly dumping 92 million tonnes of discarded items into landfill every year. However, fashion tech start-ups such as Unmade have begun to introduce innovations like on-demand production to champion the cause of sustainable fashion throughout the entire supply chain. GlobalData’s retail insight writer Deborah Williams talks to Kirsty Emery-Laws, co-founder and chief customer success officer at Unmade, to find out if on-demand is the key to fashion sustainability.
Williams asks: Where do you think fashion sustainability to be in the next five to ten years and where would you like it to be?
Emery-Laws: “I think that we’re at a really interesting point in the industry actually, that up until now, sustainability has been kind of a buzzword in fashion – it hadn’t necessarily become anything once you scratched beneath the surface. It was a nice idea but not a driving factor. Whereas now, I think, we’re at a tipping point where it’s starting to become a reality. It’s something that is becoming a leading principal at all levels. It’s not just something that is nice to have anymore – it’s becoming a must-have. And so I think the move we have, at the moment, is very interesting.
"I think it’s about looking at how we can take the industry that we have today and make it better. It’s not about starting again from scratch – it’s about taking the knowledge. We have so much incredible knowledge within the fashion industry and it’s remembering to take it and build on it and expand on it, rather than doing something that is new and scary."
"One of the disadvantages that we’re currently looking at with on-demand is that we still have quite a lot of production that is far away from market. It’s about how we can bring this closer to market, so that you are able to ship much faster. When we’re working with our customers, quite a large part of the lead-times for the end customer is actually the shipping time. So it’s about how we can help to reduce this."
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