Sourcing for the Sustainable Consumer

Published
April 20, 2021
by
Ram


A Shift in Consumer Views


Over the years fashion brands have tirelessly sought after economical and reliable ways to keep up with the demands of mass consumerism.


In fact, in 2018 American shoppers were estimated to buy 68 garments per year, with each garment only being worn 7 times. 


However, recent studies have shown that this may no longer be the trend. Now more than ever consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about the consequences of their purchases. A 2020 Mckinsey & Co. study found that 67 percent considered the use of sustainable materials to be an important purchasing factor, and 63 percent considered a brand’s promotion of sustainability in the same way. And the pandemic has only further pushed consumers to consider the impact of their purchases. 


The Environmental Impact


The global apparel industry has a significant impact on the environment. Each year the global apparel sector contributes: 

Infographic: 20% of all water pollution, 10% of all carbon emissions, 23% of all chemicals produced worldwide, 70 million barrels


The positive news is that as consumers become more aware of this impact and governments across the world add regulatory pressure, the fashion industry is starting to make meaningful changes. Recently, many brands have made commitments towards a more sustainable future, such as Zara’s commitment to making all of their garments from 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025. 


However, despite all of the spotlight and new regulation, the sheer scope of the fashion supply chain can often complicate the efforts of brands with the best intentions for building sustainable practices and products.


SILQ’s Promise


SILQ is looking to change this. 


At SILQ, our goal is to build a sense of trust between the brands and their suppliers with our team of seasoned experts acting as an extension of your team. By having boots on the ground overseas performing factory audits and routine check-ins, we are able to provide brands with visibility into the entirety of their supply chain. Our extensive auditing process ensures that each factory that brands source and partner with is committed to using ethical and sustainable business practices. 


This increased visibility between brands and factories does more than just allow brands to better understand where their goods are coming from and whether they are manufactured sustainably. With greater visibility into the factory’s processes, brands can choose factories who prioritize sustainability and a smaller ecological footprint. Even more so, they can choose factories that can do so while meeting the exact product specifications they are looking for.


Further, with shorter, more accurate lead times and overall increased visibility into their supply chain, brands can optimize their order efficiency. This allows them the ability to place smaller, more reactive orders and ultimately cut down on waste and discounting. Better control over quality can also reduce waste due to defects and rejected products.


Partner Spotlights


We recently partnered with Punarbhavaa Sustainable Products and Renaissance Fashion, two manufacturers looking to provide apparel companies with high-quality, affordable, sustainable production options. 


Punarbhavaa Sustainable Products 


Punarbhavaa Sustainability Products is not your typical label and packaging manufacturer. From our visit to their factory we learned that they truly back up their commitment to sustainability. Their manufacturing process is carefully designed to limit its environmental impact through practices such as eliminating the use of chemicals in their printing process and powering their operations with 100% renewable energy. Some of their notable awards and certifications include the 2016 innovation award from the local textile exchange and a GSR certification. In fact, they are the first and only Global Recycled Standards certified factory for paper.

Renaissance Fashion 


Renaissance Fashion has over three decades of garment manufacturing experience with an emphasis on ethical and sustainable production. Recently, we added their factory located in South Vietnam’s Tien Giang province (a stone’s throw away from Ho Chi Minh City) to our supplier list. During our factory auditing process we reviewed all of their certifications, which include: Disney’s FAMA, BSI, SAAS, WRAP, and C-TPAT. Further, we reviewed their entire facility noting their commitment to sustainability as shown through their energy efficient design, water conservation systems and commitment to renewable energy. 


Do you know how sustainable your production process is?