Sinha, Pammi, Dissanayake, D., G., Kanchana, Mahwera, Danford and Kahabi, Charles (2010) Creating a global vision for sustainable fashion. In: 87th Textile Institute World Conference 2010. Textiles: A Global Vision - Textiles Institute Centenary World Conference, 1 . Textiles Institute, Manchester, UK, pp. 247-275. ISBN 978-1-61782-270-4
Abstract

Textiles, the fastest growing sector in household waste, have created an exponential rise in the export of second hand clothes (SHC) to overseas markets such as Kenya and Tanzania. Despite the few advantages for the destination markets (eg, enterprise opportunities), this has exasperated a difficult situation for domestic production. Increased cheap imports from Asia have also led to decline in SHC markets, resulting in increased land filling and the associated environmental impacts. Our research proposes remanufacturing fashion from the unwanted SHC, embellishing using local (destination market) craft/design. From literature review conducted, reuse and remanufacture of clothing causes the least impact on energy use and appears to be the most environmentally and socially friendly approach to sustainability efforts. Remanufacture of clothing is currently practiced at niche market levels, for it to have a broader impact; it needs to gain entry into the mass-market retail arena. In the mass market arena, the apparel value chain is organized around several parts with a marketing network at the retail level. Lead firms predominantly construct these value chains, are predominantly located in developed countries, and may be large retailers and brand-name firms, playing a significant role in specifying what is to be produced, how, and by whom. Our goal is to understand how designers, manufacturers and retailers may work together in a remanufacturing process. We present findings from interviews with Tanzanian second hand clothes retailers and artisans, UK fashion remanufacturers and retailers. We discuss the implications on the fashion design process and propose a new product development method for sustainable consumption of fashion. We conclude by reflecting on potential mechanisms of the supply chain integration and how the large multinationals may become engaged.

Key words: remanufacturing, design process, supply chain, second hand clothes

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