Fashion supply chains are on the verge of a major transformation which will have dramatic effects on the associated logistics industry. These changes are being thrust upon manufacturers and retailers in the sector due to the growing unease about the environmental impact which the trend towards fast fashion, in particular, is having. In a world in which sustainability is becoming engrained in many companies’ business models, the ‘buy, wear once and then throw away’ model which has become the norm for the industry is becoming regarded by many as increasingly inappropriate. Of course, waste does not just occur at the finished product/post-consumer stage. It is also endemic in upstream supply chains with many by-products from the manufacturing process being incinerated or dumped. Instead, some brands are turning towards ‘considered design’.
This paper looks at some of the innovations which are part of a growing trend towards ‘circular fashion’ at all stages of the supply chain. It also looks at the implications, not necessarily positive, for the logistics industry.