During last August’s G7 summit in Biarritz, 32 companies banded together to sign the Fashion Pact, a first-of-its-kind commitment to solving the apparel and retail industry’s sustainability problem.
It’s a big problem to solve, as the fashion world currently produces around 150 billion garments per year. Over 30 percent of these items often go unsold, amounting to 12.8 million tons that wind up in landfills. Some are even sent to incinerators, where the burning of products releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
What can be done to lessen the environmental impact of the fashion industry? One way is by better balancing supply and demand to limit the amount of excess production. That may seem difficult given today’s disparate, fragmented supply chains. But that’s where blockchain comes in.
Blockchain provides a distributed ledger of a product’s entire lifecycle—from sourcing and production, to transport and the retail level. The data is decentralized and available to everyone across the supply chain in real time.
Companies then gain transparency, allowing people responsible for production planning, channel allocation, demand forecasting, and replenishment upstream to have visibility downstream into what consumers are buying at any moment.
They can thereby:
Reducing excess production also reduces the amount of resources consumed during manufacturing..
So, beyond doing the right thing, sustainability is important for brands and retailers to win business because it matters to consumers.
A version of this blog post originally appeared on Total Retail.
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