Time for Transparency
One of the key principles that is shifting production practices in relation to textiles is transparency. It brings to light the social and economic impact of what is hanging in our closet and even tells us the story of how it got there. It alters the communication between operators in supply chains as much as it causes firms to communicate differently with consumers. Transparency puts pressure on firms to be accountable. Wasteful production methods and exploitative labour practices become apparent, as do possibilities like re-inserting what was formerly dumped and discarded back into mass production.
Coupled with accountability, transparency leads us to rethink what we wear, how we perceive the steps involved in its production, and what we will or will not accept.
This publication aims to provide an overview of the fashion and textile industries, asking which digital initiatives have explicitly gotten underway to force changes in production processes, even for large operations. We cover the fields of experts, CEOs and designers, profile companies offering the possibilities of integrating data, mapping supply chains and tracing materials.
These initiatives may well have an important role to play in reducing social and environmental impacts. To follow an urgent demand best expressed by Dame Ellen MacArthur: »The vision of a new textiles economy offers a chance to set the fashion industry on a new trajectory. Instead of just trying to “do less bad”, we need to change the way we make and use clothes so that their production and use builds economic, societal and natural capital rather than depleting it. It’s an invitation for the industry to explore new materials, pioneer new business models, harness and design and put technology to work.«
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