Building a greener fashion brand: strategies for the future
Independent fashion brands were the first ones leading edge on the efforts to operate more sustainably. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, standing up for a more ethical future has become a smart strategy to drive sales, especially now that consumers are shopping more online and have extra time to make conscious decisions. Not only environmentally responsible products are an increasingly important selling point, but also strategies that are cost-effective such as dipping into a deadstock, are fundamental for lasting small businesses.
Changes are coming quickly, and we are facing uncertain times. Still, brands' ability to adapt, especially those with smaller-scale operations, will be essential to create a thriving business.
Do less and do it better
Do less and do better has nothing to do with minimalism, but rather with shifting towards new technologies that will help your business reduce waste.
The coronavirus pandemic has shown that transformation will be the next "flowers for spring." Still, although independent brands have limited resources and low budgets, they are more open to experiment and adapt, which means that opting for digital innovation is the right option for those looking to adjust with smaller funding.
Boosting a made-to-order model online is a useful way of minimizing sales risk and is an excellent cost-saving tool. Likewise, digital platforms that allow virtual samples, such as realistic illustrations and swatches, are a waste-reducing option for fashion brands. In that case, the production would be ordered after the consumer consideration and wholesale receipt, enabling a more ethical approach.
Revamp the old and make it new
As an alternative to the pandemic crisis, the fashion industry had to reinvent by giving old items a fresh and new purpose, and for the smaller fashion brands, this game plan should be a bolster. Reusing fabrics and creating a new meaning for last season garments is cost-saving and add incredible value for the product, considering that the positive environmental approach is attractive for consumers.
Designing an entire upcycled line is not achievable for some, but being smart about what you can do is a take-off. Releasing hero products made from leftover fabric and giving a fresh look to old items are possible options. Also, working on upgrading the supply chain by choosing more sustainable materials and looking closely at a more ethical production is a way to succeed.
In some cases, sustainable initiatives can be costly, and for some small brands, those can be overreaching. As an alternative, joining forces with existing suppliers can allow ingenious approaches within the budget.
Many specialized companies are equipped to support fashion brands providing essential insights and crucial tools that elevate the business model into an ethical path. Likewise, plenty of online platforms offer tools to facilitate independent fashion labels to take a sustainable approach. For instance, Techstyle Solutions wants to aggregate smaller orders from independent labels to make it easier to reach the minimum purchase quantity.
The pandemic pushed the need for businesses to become more sustainable, so much that it will become mandatory to ride on the momentum to thrive. Consumers will move brands onto this path, and the
ones that apply these strategies will be the ones running businesses of the future.