Powerful progress in the production process

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How do we create holistic ecosystems in the fashion industry with the help of innovating the complicated production processes our clothes go through? Here are some of the potentially game-changing ideas.

More sustainable supply chains have huge potential to transform the apparel industry from within. Every step of the production process; the heat loads, energy usage and water consumption; can be revolutionized by new ideas. Here, we present some of the most inspiring and innovative ideas about changing the value chain to one that aligns with the planetary boundaries.

Using gaming principles to tackle real life challenges

Theme introduction

Knowledge is the key to sustainability, and it doesn’t always feel particularly exciting. Enter gamification – gaming-inspired services developed to make learning more attractive – and it may not only become more exciting, but potentially also improve both working conditions and consumer behaviour.

Applying gamified services in factories producing clothes, like in the case of QuizRR, creates wider knowledge amongst workers and hence potentially improves their working conditions. Gamified services can also help suppliers and brands gain information on knowledge gaps and other “weak spots” in their organization. They can also be adapted to offer traceability and transparency in the retail supply chain (and this is not only about reputation and risk management anymore, it’s also a matter of brand value). From a consumer perspective, gamified services, at best, offers the user the chance to be in control and to make his or her own mark. By interacting with the brand; searching, filtering, competing, winning, voting, sharing; the users transform information into interactive content.

So what are the challenges ahead? Looking at schools and universities that have long used gamification or e-learning to enthuse students and enhance study results, research shows that it works, but also that there’s a disconnect between enthusiasm and measurable results. Meaning: just because it’s digital and interactive – on a device instead of a dry erase board – it doesn’t guarantee engagement. Gaming modules have to be innovative to be engaging. Another must for gamified services to make real impact is for systems that can be used by many. Aspects of competition have to be balanced by the insight that no-one can do it alone.

In this section, new services inspired by gaming are explored.

Water – the prerequisite for life

Theme introduction

Plants, animals and humans need water to survive, and to secure water resources is one of the most pressing issues under climate change. Polluted rivers, disappearing animal and plant species–and an alarming scarcity of fresh water–testify to the need for action in solving the water crisis.

The textile industry uses large amounts of energy, chemicals and not the least, water. The global average water footprint of cotton fabric is 10,000 litres per kilogram, and that number only considers the growing of cotton. Then we dye the fabric or the products using water in the process, and unfortunately several dyeing mills are not purifying the effluent water enough and we end up with polluted rivers.

Water also affects the two other major resources used in our industry – energy and chemicals. If we decrease the use of water in our processes, it will decrease the need for energy and chemicals.

This is why it is crucial for all actors within the supply chain to work on how we can decrease the water use in production processes. In this section, we focus on different perspectives on innovative water management.