It is an open secret that the fashion industry is guilty of overproduction. It is not only a problem, but it has also become an environmental crisis mainly caused by the majority of fashion businesses struggling with textile waste, which usually ends up in landfills. 80%of discarded textiles are doomed for the landfill or incineration, according to Remake.World. Only 20% are reused or recycled. So how can we reverse the process? Well, Public Habit, a conscious fashion label, believes that the way forward is to take advantage of opportunities to eliminate inefficiencies in fashion’s inflexible supply chains.
Public Habit is challenging the fashion industry to own up to its inefficiencies and poor practices regarding how their supply chain operates. The slow fashion startup, founded by changemakers Sydney Badger and Zakhar Ivanisov, is on a mission to fight the waste crisis in the fashion industry. Public Habit flipped fashion’s supply chain oni ts head by building on customer demand, no supply predictions. It is an approach that embraces a new sustainable retail model capable of successfully turning the traditional supply chain into a more modern version.
Tackling The Obstacles In Fashion’s Supply Chain
It was at the start of their fashion business journey that the founders experienced the inefficiencies first-hand. It was an “aha” moment that drove the startup to change how they do business. Public Habit started by putting enormous importance on educating their network, and themselves, about the fashion supply chain and questioning how things are done. They wanted to revolutionize the traditional supply chain and ensure that the adopted model had sustainability, transparency, and innovation in its DNA.
The traditional supply chain takes 12-18 months, while Public Habit’s supply chain only takes 1-3 months. This difference is because their product goes straight from the producer to the consumer. “We are intentionally slowing down fashion and asking consumers to wait a bit longer and eliminate unnecessary waste,” Ivanisov told Forbes Contributor Meggen Taylor. He continued: “Some fast fashion brands develop upwards of fifty collections a year launching products once a week. We create classic pieces that will last for years in terms of quality, and we only make what we sell. Our pieces take up to 20-25 days to get to consumers. This includes production, quality control, shipping, and delivery.”
The Birth Of A New Supply Chain?
The mindful apparel company has adopted a supply chain that begins and finishes with the customer. “We start by finding out what you want; then we partner with hand-picked factories to produce in small batches and ship directly from the source”, stated the founders on their e-commerce site. Providing customers with a new way to shop, Public Habit explains that when a customer places an order on day one, by day four production begins. Note that the startup’s philosophy is never to make more than they need. On day 12, the product is ready for quality control, and by day 14, your order is on its way to you. Focusing on low-cost production, Public Habit’s process ensures that by day 24, you have your ordered product with you.
The forward-thinking startup has been able to commit to this less wasteful system by hand-picking factories that are capable of producing in small batches. “We rigorously vet and personally visit every factory that we work with. And we are very picky. We are looking for forward-looking partners who share the same vision”, explained the brand.
Even as the industry struggles in the current global pandemic, Public Habit has flipped the supply chain so that demand drives supply. “Our customers have to wait a little longer to receive their order, but we only make it once we sell it. This has protected our suppliers and us during this time. Our overhead is low, we own minimal inventory and we can react quickly to market demands”, declared the company.
By removing certain obstacles that make fashion’s supply chain quite dated, Public Habit has shown that it is possible to be a transparent brand that does not carry excessive inventory or have overhead expenses, such as storage.