Hands holding organic cotton and sustainably-made apparel

Fashion Sustainability Doesn't Have to be a Myth

WAIR shares a three-step program that helps brands step towards fashion sustainability while maintaining a profitable business model.

Take a Step Toward Being Sustainable

Did you know that 5.2% of the waste in our landfills is textiles and 20% of industrial water pollution is a result of textile treatment? Furthermore, many of the materials in our clothing can take up to 200 years to decompose. 

The Verge reported in 2019 that the US annually creates over 15 million metric tons of CO2 emissions exclusively from apparel returns, which is the same amount of CO2 emissions three million cars on the road will produce.  

While these are alarming stats, let’s also keep in mind that eCommerce sales during the COVID era have grown by more than 28% on average, as reported by Big Commerce. More sales, more returns, more waste...you see where we are going here?

The apparel industry is capable of evolving toward a more sustainable future, but the challenge is to still maintain a profitable business model while achieving that goal. The idea of a perfectly circular and environmentally sustainable model based on the complete use of biodegradable materials, additive manufacturing, and mass customization with zero sampling is becoming attainable with the latest technical achievements. However, this model is not profitable. On the other hand, we have ambivalence– a.k.a. doing nothing because the challenges are too big. So, where is the middle ground? Here are three steps that can bridge the gap between sustainability and profitability.

The Groundwork to Become a “More” Sustainable Industry

At WAIR, we believe in a three-step program to help our brand partners achieve profitable sustainability… something we’re sure will be #EarthDay approved. 

WAIR's Fit Advisor in action, helping fashion sustainability

Step 1: Make sure your shoppers have the information and tools necessary to order their best-fitting products. By ensuring this, you help reduce the amount of size-related returns, cutting down on the overall CO2 emission output and additional supply waste processing these returns. WAIR has helped brands significantly reduce the likelihood of product returns for size and fit reasons.

3D avatars used to represent the body dimensions of real shoppers

Step 2: Use the body data collected from shoppers who use WAIR to ensure that your grade rules and patterns align with the body dimensions of your shoppers.  Then using WAIR’s digital 3D avatars, you can integrate your digital 3D design solutions to help reduce physical sampling requirements by up to 40%.

WAIR's shopper insights dashboard

Step 3: Use the same body data collected from WAIR to safeguard adequate size management to ensure your brand's sizes make for the best fit for your shopper's bodies. You can do this in the production line for your total shopper as well as in your warehouse/stores for your regional shoppers to increase your sell-through rates.

Interested in learning more about WAIR? Schedule a demo here and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram , LinkedIn, and Facebook for all your fashion content needs!

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