Why transparency in fashion matters

29 November 2022

The importance of transparent fashion supply chains.

The fashion world is changing. Brands and consumers alike increasingly value sustainability and recognise it as a core, indispensable element of business. The fashion industry is well known for its environmental and social impacts. Garments go through many different processes, travelling between several countries and passing through multiple factories. Long, complex and delocalised supply chains, fragmented over different continents, make it difficult for fashion brands to closely monitor their operations. Companies often don’t fully understand the true social and environmental impacts of their business practices due to a lack of visibility along the supply chain. The absence of transparency in fashion supply chains hinders progress, as what’s not measured can’t be fixed.

Implementing sustainability in brands’ operations and achieving traceability not only makes it easier to reduce their impacts, it also improves efficiency and resilience in supply chains, which allows brands to take control, monitoring costs and detecting risks. Sustainability can represent a strategic business tool that allows for major competitive advantages in terms of market penetration, brand identity and community development.

Due to poor monitoring and limited control over fashion supply chains, high environmental and social security risks arise in this sector. One of the worst examples of this can be traced back to April 24, 2013 when a garment factory called Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,134 workers. This tragedy exposed the major lack of transparency in global fashion supply chains that has detrimental consequences for many garment workers.