Fashion sector needs to rethink its business models

Fashion sector needs to rethink its business models

At the annual meeting of IFFTI International Foundation of Fashion Technologies Institutes in Tokyo (J), IAF International Apparel Federation secretary general Han Bekke urged in his address that the fashion sector needs to rethink its business models

The worldwide apparel industry is still too much focused on price which in some cases leads to dramatic situations like last year in Bangladesh.

“The economic situation in important markets for apparel has a negative impact on consumer spending on clothing” states Bekke and added “feeling also the intense competition from fast fashion models, fashion retailers often react with mark downs with heavy pressure on margins as a result. The question, where to produce at cheapest cost is asked more often than how can a retailer serve the consumer best. This is no longer sustainable and kills creativity and innovation.”

He expressed the view that more cooperation in the supply chain is needed. By rethinking the business model would be the answer to fast fashion versus slow fashion. The sector should focus more on value and service and be more open to innovation. Business models should be based on global responsibility and more transparency. The apparel supply chain is based on a series of human behaviour, and behaviour is taught.

In IAF’s view, educational institutes have therefore a major part to play in order to prepare new generations for the future challenges of the sector. In their curriculum, fashion universities should pay more attention to calculation methods, planning, as well as global responsibility, communication capabilities in the supply chain, chemistry and software. Working with world class suppliers could help fashion universities to better understand innovations in the supporting industry.

IAF is the world’s leading federation for apparel manufacturers, their associations, apparel retailers and brands and supporting industry. IAF’s membership now includes apparel association from nearly 60 countries representing over 200000 companies.

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