The fashion industry is fundamentally built on a system where supply is ordered based off of predicted demand prior to any factual determination. Trends are determined seasons ahead of time, demand is hypothesized and the orders are placed by brands before they can know the actual consumer demand. A system like this has proven to be unsustainable over the years and has resulted in overproduction in the garment factories. In a study released by the SAC and Higg Co in April it is stated that, “Further back in the global supply chain, a survey of over 500 manufacturing facilities across all main production regions...shows 86% of all facilities have been impacted by cancelled or suspended orders. As a direct consequence, 40% now struggle with paying employees, leading to layoffs and factory closures.” Yet there are still some garment factories managing to keep their doors open despite the hardships and how they are doing so might surprise you.
It is common knowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic is upending the fashion industry. From a 27-30% global revenue contraction to mass amounts of employees being furloughed, the fashion industry has taken a serious hit. So what are sustainable fashion companies doing to stay afloat? It would be natural to think that one of the first things to go in a time like this are their sustainable and ethical practices that are more expensive than their alternatives. Examples of this may be producing at manufacturing facilities that don’t enforce fair wages, benefits for workers, and other ethical practices or perhaps switching from organic cotton to regular cotton to cut costs and save money during this financial crisis. Anything to avoid bankruptcy, right? Looking at a few different companies that employ sustainable and ethical practices, their experience took a different turn and the reasons might surprise you.
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused many sustainable fashion brands to halt or pivot their operations. With the increased need for essential resources, companies have stepped in to produce supplies and aid those in need. Whether it is masks, hospital gowns or donations to various charities, sustainable brands are doing their part. Here are 10 sustainable brands helping during COVID-19 that can inspire you to do the same.
We are living in strange times as most of the world is on lockdown trying to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The fashion industry in particular is taking the hit hard as we begun feeling the effects of Coronavirus in our shut down supply chain in the winter in China. Now, as retail stores are all closed too, it is a very real worry what this global pandemic will do to our industry and our global economy.
While we wait out the news each day, here's a list of grants and resources for small businesses to help you weather this unprecedented time. We hope this gives you a positive place to focus your energy, pay your employees, and stay in business so when this is all over you come out more nimble and ready to grow.
Finding the perfect garment manufacturer to produce your clothes can feel impossible. There is an overwhelming amount of options online but most factories have awful websites making them difficult to find. In fact, finding a garment factory is often still conducted via word of mouth. And that's just finding a factory, not assessing their ethical and sustainability standards and quality. So once you've done the hard work of finding a garment factory, what do you do to get the highest quality production possible? Creating a great relationship when working with your garment factory is key to great production, and here's 5 ways to manage that.
It's not uncommon to learn about the problems in the fashion industry and be compelled to make it better for people and planet. But starting a brand requires a lot of work, flexibility, patience, and most of all beautiful, quality product that people want to buy. Getting to this point is challenging and often unclear, so we try to feature brands who are doing regularly so you can get a peak behind the scenes of what it feels like and what challenges to expect. Here's a look into the Canadian based brand Poème Clothing and our interview with Founder, Connie Howes.
The holiday shopping season is the most important time of year for building sales and brand awareness. We are 2 weeks to Thanksgiving and 6 weeks to Christmas which means it's now go time for getting into gift guides and holiday press. Have you started pitching press yet? You better be. Here's how to secure press for holiday shopping.
Growing a brand takes a lot of work and you wear a million hats. With so many time sensitive deadlines, it can feel overwhelming to slow down and train new team members so you can delegate some things off your plate. However, by not training your team members properly you actually miss out on optimizing their role to its fullest potential, or worse, they could be doing tasks that are counter productive to your growth goals and actually set you back. Here's 5 Tips to train new team members.
By Ellen Saville, Creative Director, The Endery
A large contributor to fashion's waste problem is the pre-consumer textile waste also known as fabric liability or deadstock fabric. Tons and tons of deadstock fabric is collecting dust in factories and ateliers around the world and if we start sourcing it, it could begin to reduce the amount of raw materials in demand and therefore the strain we put on the planet. One of the easiest categories to implement this strategy is knits, since deadstock yarn is still unspun and much easier to mold into the designs you need. "We see leftover production materials happen in real time, to the tune of at least 15+ tons of yarn per year in Peru alone," says Ellen, who has spent many years working production in Peru. This experience prompted her to create a solution with her newly launched deadstock sweater brand The Endery co-founded with Kelly Phenicie.
"According to the Ocean Conservancy, in less than 10 years, scientists predict there will be 250 million metric tons in the ocean and by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish" (Independent). You may hear about our global plastic epidemic on a daily basis, but do you actually know what you can do about it beyond carrying around metal straw? Sustainable business can feel a lot more overwhelming since the consumer side of the conversation is more common, but that doesn't mean that sustainable business solutions don't exist. To make it easy, we've put together a sustainable fashion brand checklist for you to be plastic free in 2020.