24 Mar How 2017 is influencing the new normal
The year of 2017 has been around for a couple of months already, and with the various fashion weeks and fashion fairs done, it’s time to set some goals for the remaining year. So, with the official arrival of spring, we thought there would be no better time than now, to look into how the trends of 2017 might affect your business and how you can work towards meeting some of your goals.
Sustainable changes are still inevitable
It might be a bit repetitive, but being sustainable is very much present and ever developing in the fashion industry. Now, perhaps more than ever, there’s a focus on being sustainable throughout the entire company, from supplier to retail store. The big online retail store Asos just announced that they will be publishing their supplier lists during spring 2017, and in the following 3 years, they plan to publish all textiles, materials, and components that are used in their products. (Source: Fashionforum.dk)
This means that Asos will be collecting data from all of the 850 different brands they are collaborating with, thereby spreading their initiative to smaller brands. Asos is not unique in this initiative as some of the big players like H&M and GAP made their supplier list public last year.
When big brands and digital retail stores set an example like this, there’s no neglecting that sustainability is here to stay. It is without a doubt the new normal and creates a need for rethinking how to structure and share product data between suppliers, brands, and retailers.
Transparency equals value
The consumers of 2017 are smart, and they expect to know exactly what they are paying for, and the footprint that these products leave. Transparency makes for a key part of the customer experience, thereby quality and value seem to be affecting the customers as much as the power of the label. If a company chooses to implement a more transparent and sustainable approach, their main focus should be about making a compatible product within both quality and price.
Some American companies have taken this opportunity to look into a more local approach, moving the production from the low-labor cost in Asia to America, where it’s easier to monitor quality and taking advantage of recent manufacturing technologies. Bringing the production closer to “home”, also shows that companies are aware of their customers need for a more transparent production.
In relation to this, the product has to be better than ever. This is no easy task for a brand with a big amount of products and a string of suppliers who are used to working in a particular way. As mentioned earlier, things are starting to change, and 2017 may very well be the year where we will see a much more transparent and sustainable fashion industry.
Being mindful and reflective
Creating a certain amount of minimum goals within the company is a way of evolving your business and take it to the next level. Your goals need to be realistic and ambitious if you want to succeed.
Our advice is to reflect on which direction your business should go. Want to expand worldwide? Work on establishing connections and network across the border, and perhaps partner up with people who can help you. Want to focus on getting your company sustainable? Take a closer look at your value chain. Maybe your suppliers are meeting your demands, but the transportation is too wasteful and expensive.
Be mindful and reflective of where you can improve. You should start with looking into the beginning of the value chain. Having a well-functioning communication and documentation of the product development process should be the first thing on the agenda.
With the industry being more transparent and the consumers demanding a certain amount of quality, there is little room for errors. Therefore, having established the basic foundation, you minimize the risk of errors and increase the quality of your business while getting closer to reaching and achieving your goals.
So while 2017 has been around for awhile now, it’s time for some spring-cleaning, and perhaps some thoughts on how you want to keep developing your business in terms of the future needs of suppliers, retailers, and consumers.