Fashion players must prioritise tracing supply chains: GlobalData

Fashion brands must prioritise tracing their supply chains as social media growth can expose their failings. Clothing brands are increasingly being held accountable for their actions on human rights and towards the environment through social media and this will grow in prevalence as the world looks to step up green actions, according to GlobalData.

The environmental and social implications of fashion production and disposal make it of high relevance to integrate the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into this industry. It is needed to make the industry fully sustainable and positive for people and the ecosystem by tackling the environmental and social issues related to clothing production and consumption, the data and analytics company said in a press release.

“Companies such as Twitter and Facebook are allowing more people to speak out; people that might not necessarily have had the platform to do so before and this means the actions of brands toward the people in their value chains and the environment can be exposed at the drop of a hat,” said Hannah Abdulla, apparel correspondent at GlobalData.

“Social media means brands can no longer hide behind the excuse that they are too far removed from failings in their supply chains, or that they were not aware of them – consumers are no longer buying that as an acceptable excuse. Brands need to do better and deliver on promises of protecting those most vulnerable in their supply chains,” she added.

Brands should be taking the necessary steps to trace every part of their supply chains to ensure they truly are acting responsibly at every level. Abdulla continued: “The fashion industry’s footprint on the world is no secret and the race is on for it to slow, if not reverse its impact. Social media is driving a new level of transparency; while it is a great tool for brands to publicise their efforts around sustainability, equally, it can prove detrimental for brands that are failing their supply chains.”

In 2015, the UN adopted a series of SDGs, an ambitious roadmap for improving the lives of people around the world. They comprise 169 targets designed to advance 17 overarching goals, which include poverty eradication, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, and decent work.

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