A major fashion trend for 2019 is to develop solutions for sustainable fashion. As B-Stock reported earlier this year, ‘moving forward, it will become increasingly important for apparel retailers to take a stand not only on social issues, but to provide complete transparency, especially when it comes to the sustainability of their clothing and fabrics’ (read more). But what does ‘sustainable fashion’ even mean and how does that impact social messaging and customer retention? For one major fashion retailer, it means releasing a 100% sustainable denim collection as reported in Retail Gazette.
Sustainable Apparel Supports a Sustainable Economy
A sustainable economy is when economic development can satisfy human growth while in harmony with sustaining natural resources, i.e., don’t cut down the rainforests, pollute the oceans, use all the oil, etc. For sustainable apparel, this translates to sustainable fabrics, such as cotton, and has led to the foundation of enterprises like CottonConnect—they work with brands and retailers to enable them to develop a more robust and resilient cotton supply chain.
Sustainable Solutions + Social Media = Trust and Loyalty
By working with a company like CottonConnect, retailers can help: reduce the impact of cotton production on the environment; equip farmers with the necessary skills to improve; and to offer customers sustainable products. When a retailer or brand can post on social media that their fabrics and clothing were made with farming techniques that will ultimately help preserve the environment for future generations, that helps form trust and loyalty with customers.
Liquidation and the Circular Economy
Fast-fashion retailers who want to promote sustainable solutions and farming practices are also faced with how to handle the circular economy—keeping resources in use for as long as possible, including the reselling of returned items. For apparel retailers, intentional returns and how to deal with them is a real and serious issue that will continue to grow as e-commerce sales continue to grow. For retailers to stay in line with their sustainable solutions, they also need a liquidation solution to keep warehouses from reaching capacity, to keep supply chains moving, and to reduce the costs associated with processing, shipping and storing returns.
Returns are the rule in retail. For items that can’t go back on primary shelves, talk to B-Stock for your own private, auction marketplace to sell returned, excess, and other liquidation inventory. This technology-driven approach will increase recovery rates on consumer returns and will keep warehouse inventory moving.
We also invite you to review our case studies and our suite of private marketplaces that we operate for 9 of the top 10 U.S. retailers and hundreds more.