The fashion industry is a highly competitive and ever-changing field. It is also one of the biggest contributors to waste and pollution. The United Nations reports that the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions and 20% of global wastewater. In fact, it uses more energy than both the aviation and shipping industries combined. Additionally, the fashion industry produces a significant amount of textile waste. Only 15% of clothing is recycled or donated, while the remaining 85% is either thrown into landfills or burned in incinerators.
In order to tackle environmental and social issues, the fashion industry should embrace a circular economy approach. This approach focuses on reducing waste and maximizing the use of resources. Instead of following a linear model of take-make-dispose, a circular model of reduce-reuse-recycle should be adopted. This involves creating products that are long-lasting, can be repaired, and are recyclable. It also involves using renewable and recycled materials, as well as finding ways to extend the lifespan and value of products through reuse and remanufacturing.
Achieving a circular economy in the fashion industry is a challenging task due to various factors. These include complex and fragmented supply chains, ever-changing consumer preferences, and rapidly evolving market trends. To overcome these obstacles, the fashion industry must utilize digital technologies that promote improved collaboration, communication, and coordination throughout the entire value chain. This encompasses everything from design and production to consumption and disposal. Cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) software is a crucial technology that can facilitate this transformation.
PLM software is a tool that helps fashion companies manage their products and associated data throughout their entire lifecycle, from concept to end-of-life. This software can greatly enhance efficiency, quality, innovation, and profitability by simplifying processes, minimizing mistakes and rework, promoting collaboration, and aiding in decision-making.
Cloud-based PLM software refers to a type of PLM software that is stored on the internet and can be accessed through a web browser. Unlike traditional PLM software, which needs to be installed on a local server or computer, cloud-based PLM software offers numerous benefits. These include reduced initial costs, increased scalability, quicker implementation, simpler integration, and improved security.
Cloud-based PLM software can also enable sustainable fashion by supporting the principles and practices of the circular economy. Here are some of the ways that cloud-based PLM software can help fashion companies achieve circularity:
- Cloud-based PLM software in the fashion industry enables designers to create products that are aligned with the circular economy. They can achieve this by incorporating renewable and recycled materials, minimizing waste and emissions, and improving durability and recyclability. This software provides designers with a centralized database of materials, trims, and components, along with tools to evaluate the environmental and social impacts of their designs, including carbon and water footprints and social compliance. Moreover, it promotes collaboration with suppliers, manufacturers, and consumers, facilitating feedback and insights to enhance circularity.
- Cloud-based PLM software provides fashion companies with a streamlined and transparent method of managing their supply chain. This software connects companies with suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors on one platform, enhancing efficiency. It enables tracking and tracing of products and materials through the entire supply chain, from sourcing to delivery. Moreover, it allows for monitoring of product quality, compliance, and sustainability performance.
Cloud-based PLM software is beneficial for fashion companies as it improves their inventory, production, and distribution processes. It achieves this by using data analytics and artificial intelligence to predict demand, manage capacity, and reduce waste and excess stock. Ultimately, this software boosts the overall efficiency and effectiveness of supply chain management for fashion companies.
- Cloud-based PLM software is a helpful tool for fashion companies to maximize the lifespan and worth of their products. It provides tools and services that aid in product maintenance, repair, and refurbishment. By collecting and analyzing data on product usage and wear, the software can give recommendations on how to fix, clean, or upgrade products. It also facilitates the connection between fashion companies and their customers, offering incentives and options for customers to return, resell, or donate products instead of throwing them away.
- Cloud-based PLM software is an effective tool for fashion companies seeking to recycle their products and materials. This software streamlines the collection, sorting, and processing procedures and helps companies locate and organize items ready for recycling. Additionally, it assists in managing logistics and transportation for recycling operations. The software also aids in verifying and validating the quality and composition of recycled materials, ensuring traceability and certification. Moreover, it enables fashion companies to seamlessly integrate recycled materials into new products and effectively communicate their commitment to sustainability to customers and stakeholders.
This type of software is a highly effective and adaptable technology that aids fashion companies in efficiently handling their products and data throughout the entire lifecycle, from production to disposal. This software also facilitates the transition to a circular economy, benefiting both the environment and society. By utilizing cloud-based PLM software, fashion companies can enhance their operational and financial performance while also contributing to a more sustainable and competitive fashion industry.