The digital fashion market grew into a vast empire.
The fashion industry has been undergoing a massive transformation through digital innovations. These innovations have made it possible to have direct contact with the client. Nowadays, clients don’t consider the online and offline channels as separate but as one. Fashion companies have realized that the client is at the center of all their activities.
Today, the digital fashion market is enormous. Most people do not understand it, but it has revolutionized the industry. This market comprises entrepreneurial business people who develop exciting stories and designs for their customers. The products of this fashion industry are not only fashionable but are also good for the environment.
The growth of digital fashion is expected to continue. In the next six to twelve months, the online market share for apparel and fashion will rise to 20 to 40%. In April alone, the traffic on top fashion brands’ websites grew by 45 percent, and some prominent players reduced their promotional efforts to handle the volume of orders.
Shein is poised to be the fashion giant of the decade.
Fast-fashion retailer Shein is on a fast track to becoming the next fashion giant. The company’s model of sourcing and manufacturing clothes locally sets a new standard for the apparel industry. The company has become the poster child of the energy-intensive fast-fashion sector. The fast-fashion industry is notorious for using harmful chemicals in producing its goods, which end up in landfills and oceans. In November, Shein appointed a global head for environmental and social governance.
Shein operates an online marketplace with over 6,000 factories in China. The company also has a sophisticated internal management software system that collects feedback from shoppers in near-real time. These features allow the company to order new inventory and make design changes on demand. Shein also runs a well-oiled advertising operation out of Guangzhou.
The company’s Instagram account has more than 23 million followers. This indicates how famous its brand is among the average consumer. The company has teamed up with many high-profile musicians and celebrities to promote its products. It has also sponsored reality TV stars and influencers. While Shein’s popularity may be based on celebrity endorsements, the brand has cemented its reputation among everyday people. Millennials and Gen Z shoppers often promote Shein on social media and recommend their favorite items to friends and coworkers.
Shein’s speed to market is a crucial factor in the company’s appeal. The company estimates the number of sales for a product and orders small batches of them from factories. This approach allows Shein to ramp up production when a particular product becomes a viral sensation.
The company has more than 400 staffers in the U.S. and plans to hire hundreds more by 2025. In recent years, Shein has increased its profits from $517 million in 2016 to over $1 billion in 2017. The company employs around 10,000 people and operates four R&D centers in Nanjing. It also has six logistics centers in Foshan and Nansha and seven customer service centers in the U.S.
As it grows in popularity, Shein has created its supply chain and is poised to become the fashion giant of the decade. The company also has an in-house design team that utilizes real-time customer data to craft new designs. The company can produce a new creation in as little as three days.
Shein uses many troubling practices to ensure it can produce clothes at a low cost.
The massive warehouses of Shein are one example. The company uses the services of American logistics firm Prologis to manage these warehouses, which employ around 10,000 people. They work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The company also has a strict safety policy, which it expects its subcontractors to follow.
The company has been accused of working with suppliers who violate labour laws and failing to disclose factory conditions. In response to the complaints, Shein has introduced a legally compliant code of conduct for its suppliers. It also hired Intertek and Openview firms to audit its factories. In addition, it has terminated suppliers who violate its code of conduct. However, it is still unclear if these practices are being followed.
While Shein began in a niche market for women’s clothing, it has now grown to become a one-stop shop for apparel. It has resisted the temptation to branch out into other categories while retaining its core focus on clothing. Although it is still relatively small, its massive traffic reflects its ability to attract a large number of consumers.
Shein also makes use of recycled polyester in its production. Currently, sixty-four percent of its clothes are made from recycled materials. Despite these efforts, the company is not transparent about the exact environmental impact of its production practices. It uses a mix of renewable and non-renewable energy in its supply chain.
The company has been accused of gross labor practices. In 2021, a report by Public Eye revealed that SHEIN paid its workers less than a living wage.
Transparency in the supply chain is a critical competitive advantage.
Transparency in the supply chain is gaining momentum in the fashion industry, with more consumers becoming aware of the environmental and social impacts of the industry. 34% of the global population is willing to pay more for sustainable products and services. Transparency in the supply chain helps to foster consumer trust and demonstrate a commitment to environmental preservation and worker rights.
The process of achieving transparency requires several different steps. The first step is to understand and analyze the entirety of your supply chain. This can be time-consuming, particularly when it involves monitoring your first-tier and upper-tier suppliers. Getting management buy-in to watch the supply chain is challenging but critical for a company’s success.
Transparency in the supply chain reduces reputational risk, enhancing the company’s reputation as a responsible enterprise. Additionally, it attracts employees who want to work for a socially responsible company. According to the Harvard Business Review, transparency in the supply chain increases consumer trust.
One study in the Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh found that supply chain transparency increased economic efficiency. The other study, conducted in the Punjab Province of Pakistan, showed that transparency in the supply chain could increase brand value.
Transparency in the supply chain is gaining momentum in other industries, such as the seafood industry. Understanding the costs and benefits of transparency initiatives is essential before adopting them.
Transparency in the supply chain allows clothing brands to diversify their supplier networks and minimize costs. With access to multiple suppliers, they can better forecast their needs and place new orders based on current demand. As a result, they can be more confident about inventory availability and avoid having to cancel clearance sales due to overstock.