Sustainability in the apparel industry is becoming increasingly important. The idea of ‘fast fashion’ has gained increased popularity through retailers like, H&M, Zara and TopShop who offer inexpensive clothing that is meant to be worn a limited number of times. This type of apparel is adding to the “throwaway fashion attitude” and has increased the speed of the fashion cycle. Apparel companies and consumers are both responsible for the increasing popularity of this type of fashion and also for the environmental impact ‘fast fashion’ is having on our environment. The purpose of this research is to discuss opportunities for retailers to improve their sustainability along the fashion supply chain, starting with fiber growth and concluding with post-consumer. This research addresses technological advances that have increased apparel companies’ sustainability, including eco-friendly materials, mass customization, body scanning, alternative fuels, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified retail sites. This research contributes to visualizing where retailers are participating in sustainable apparel practices and provides the reader a general understanding of the fact that effective sustainability in the fashion industry cannot deal solely with one area alone.
|Keywords:||Apparel Supply Chain, Sustainability, Technology|
Graduate Student, Central Michigan University, Mount Plesant, Michigan, USA
Associate Professor of Apparel Merchandising and Design, Human Environmental Studies, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA
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