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Beyond the Bale : September 2019
MARKET INTELLIGENCE 67 In the past, a lack of transparency in a company’s supply chain could be seen as a competitive advantage. Businesses wanted to keep insight into their suppliers and manufacturers as opaque as possible. If no one knew where supplies were coming from, no one could build identical apparel. And this thinking extended to customers; out of sight meant out of mind when it came to worries about ethical sourcing and manufacturing in the fashion industry. It’s clear from the Fashion Revolution’s 2018 EU Consumer Survey1 there has been a shift in the way consumers view transparency. 77% of people would like fashion brands to make it clear where they source materials, ingredients and components from, and who manufactured the product. It’s now a clear business advantage for everyone to know where clothes come from. Companies like Patagonia and Everlane tout sustainability and supply chain transparency as a selling point. This thirst for traceability will only grow and it’s not just niche brands. H&M has an end goal to become 100% transparent2. Amanda Nusz, vice president of product quality and responsible sourcing at Target Corporation, states of forming a company-customer alliance: “It’s not only good to do, it’s good for business... people will be loyal to ethical brands.”2 Greater transparency in supply chains will create new incentives for companies to change the way they do business and even Consumers are not asking anymore: “Where did you get your top from?” They’re now asking: “How was your top made?” The fashion industry is changing fast, pushed by consumers wanting transparency in their supply chains. WoolQ gives woolgrowers the edge in supplying wool that can be traced from the sheep’s back to the shop floor. how they view themselves as an organisation. Take Nike, for example. They don’t position themselves as an apparel company anymore. Instead, they talk about themselves as a tech company that just so happens to make clothes. Their clothes and shoes often come equipped with sensors for tracking heart rate, miles run, or calories burned. That’s because data is now the most compelling business model. The lesson here? The companies that will thrive in the coming years are those that can reinvent themselves to keep up with changes in technology and society. With these changes in mind, AWI CEO Stuart McCullough says AWI had commenced a number of projects focussed on traceability during the past five years. "We recognise that generation Ys and generation Zs are going to be more interested in the source of materials in the future. They will want to know where something has come from, how it was treated, what the supply chain did with it and where it is going to at the end. “The first stage of the traceability journey is AWI’s WoolQ project which is designed to offer clean digital data straight from the farm.” WoolQ is an online platform that provides woolgrowers with a number of tools to allow them to make more informed decisions regarding the preparation and sale of their wool. Traceability on WoolQ starts in the shed with the WoolQ eSpeci. The clip information is digitised on shearing using a mobile device – tablet or phone. This digitisation of the wool clip information or ‘wool specification’ provides many benefits. One of the most valuable is that it delivers a clear and easily utilised starting point for traceability in the supply chain. In the not too distant future, wool will be able to be traced from the sheep’s back to the clothing tag in the high street. Woolgrowers able to provide this level of traceability will be increasingly sought after by buyers looking to satisfy traceability requirements from global brands. If you haven’t used WoolQ or the WoolQ eSpeci, simply head to www.woolq.com to learn more. MORE INFORMATION www.woolq.com WoolQ can help improve transparency in the wool supply chain, which is something brands and consumers are increasingly demanding. Sources: 1 www.fashionrevolution.org/resources/consumer-survey 2 www.vogue.co .uk/article/sustainability-transparency- traceability-fashion 77% of people would like fashion brands to make it clear where they source materials, ingredients and components from, and who manufactured the product. Fashion Revolution’s 2018 EU Consumer Survey WHO MADE MY CLOTHES? WOOLQ DELIVERS THE EDGE TO WOOLGROWERS
In the Shops - September 2019