Last term, IFA Paris’ MBA Fashion Technology students collaborated with startup Abel to research the possibilities of creating a more transparent fashion industry. An industry project integrated within the module ‘4th Industrial Revolution’, the students took a deep dive into the challenges and barriers that the fashion supply chain currently presents. Ranging from where and how a fashion product is made, through to the provenance of the raw materials and into textiles. The brief was to research and conceptualize what innovations could make the fashion supply chain more transparent, and how this could spin out into a viable solution. The six-week project was an intense uncovering of truth.
Fashion is notorious for having an opaque supply chain, in which many brands do not even know all the details as to how their products are made. However, many consumers are now demanding the right to know where the products they purchase come from, in response to the ethics behind fashion and the climate crisis. Companies such as Clear Fashion and Fashion Revolution are pushing the sustainable fashion agenda forward. They are doing this with their research and solutions by measuring and divulging information on the impact any given fashion brand has on the environment. Radical, yes. Working? Maybe not so much.
The insights drawn by the students indicated that although consumers are wanting more information about where products come from, it is still relatively confusing for the average customer to understand. Coupled with the fact that there are no standards or regulations as to how fashion brands need to declare the provenance of their products, data is currently not at a standard that will make meaningful and useful information. Finally, much of the industry has yet to catch up with technological innovations to make fashion transparency come to life fully.
You can join our MBA Fashion Technology program if you’d like to learn more about sustainability, fashion innovation and have the opportunity to work on industry collaborations.