We have to do better. We need a complete "sector reset". We "cannot get back to the way things had been before". I hear most of these sentiments and find out about them everyday on my different social media feeds. Portion of me thinks, "yes, we should shoot for a much better industry". I likewise agree that the incidents of recent months have exposed enormous fault lines in your sector, not least which may be the unequal relationship between client and supplier.
In a few ways, then, I go along with demands a different kind of apparel and textile industry beyond Covid-19. We must all make an effort to be the best we can quite possibly be and I show the pure instincts of many to expectation that something great and positive will come out of such a hard and, in many cases, tragic period of history.
As well, you will find a nagging being in the rear of my mind. What will a "better" industry actually mean? More pertinently, on a practical level, what will it mean for RMG manufacturers in Bangladesh? Until we've clear answers to these problems, there will be stress and anxiety among myself and my peers in relation to how any kind of industry reset might impression us and our staff.
If an industry reset means a noticable difference to purchasing procedures, that would be described as a welcome stage forward. Recent months, in which we've seen general public rows between brands, industry trade bodies and suppliers, have certainly not helped anybody in our sector. Such rows can't be repeated moving forwards.
More robust contracts, and perhaps an increased utilization of L/C must be the way forwards to stop brands walking from orders without searching back. This might be a step forward for suppliers, providing extra stability, and it would actually also help brands because it would mean we'd all know exactly where we stand. Such a switch is something we'd all welcome.
The concern is where there is talk of broader changes connected with an industry reset. I likewise have concerns where persons say we will become a "more sustainable" market after Covid-19. Really? Why don't we be realistic below. The key to sustainability is based on supply chains-this is where emissions occur, that's where so much water is used and, oftentimes, wasted. Change here won't happen overnight, up to we would all enjoy it to. Sustainability costs money (something we do not talk about enough) and, as we realize, many suppliers are short of money right now; most are on the verge of personal bankruptcy.
Suppliers cannot magically up expenditure for sustainability jobs out of nothing. Their priorities are having to pay their bills and spending their workforce. From then on, they might consider investing in brand-new effluent treatment technology or energy saving devices, nonetheless they cannot do any of these factors until they have ensured they happen to be financially viable. This is simply not me being harmful, I am merely stating the stark fact of today's time.
Likewise with makes. There are very few cash-rich makes and retailers at the present time. Even those with cash happen to be shoring up their harmony sheets after an awful 2020. You will have little appetite to purchase better supply chains.
The key here is to control expectations. Any reset we check out in our market moving forwards will be about evolution, not revolution. Various people seem to think that the coronavirus possesses somehow hastened the sustainability agenda. Again, without desperate to appear like a killjoy, my question is normally, how would that work? Who will pay?
I also go through recently that the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Uk Manner Council have jointly needed the fashion industry to slow down as part of a much-needed industry switch post Covid-19. Both trade bodies recommend the current time offers an possibility to "rethink and reset how we all job and show our selections." Within this, they propose no more than two main collections per year.
I find these remarks as a good counter-balance to fast fashion. There are lots of others who say fast fashion can be irrelevant moving forwards.
The issues with fast fashion and excessive consumption are well documented and, from an environmental perspective, a approach towards better built clothing will be better for the earth. But this surely should be a gradual change so that you can give source chains period to adapt. And, in fact, any discussions for this shift need to entail suppliers; we desire a place at the top table.
We must understand that the fast style industry provides millions of jobs around the world. It provides helped lift many an incredible number of garment personnel out of poverty, featuring them with a well balanced cash flow and putting a roofing over their heads. Persons prefer to criticise fast fashion but the organization has provided regular organization for thousands of garment factories in Bangladesh for almost two decades.
To be clear, I am greatly in favour of a more sustainable industry and I as well, like many, believe climate change is a substantially bigger challenge compared to the coronavirus. We cannot afford to have our eye off the ball upon this issue.
But, I as well think all of us need period to pause for breath. These past few months have been the most volatile period for the global market in greater than a century. For many folks, there is absolutely no time to think of resets. We just need to get through 2020 and, those of us lucky enough to be around beyond that, can probably start planning a brighter future in 2021 and beyond.