As a brand, you know that innovation is the way forward. Sustainability can be viewed as a great way to innovate your business and create opportunities. In McKinsey’s annual report and survey The State of Fashion, fashion executives were asked where they saw the most opportunity for the fashion industry. Sustainability was the second most-heard reply with 1 out of 10 respondents mentioning it.
Interestingly enough, most fashion executives replied with digitalization. No less than 30 percent of the respondents indicated that they see digital opportunity in e-commerce as well as in the digitization of business processes and operations.
In addition to these numbers, the McKinsey report speaks of optimism around digitalization and sustainability in the fashion industry. “[It] chimes with the widely held view that, despite the disruption of the pandemic, these trends will accelerate and, in turn, lead to a reset of the fashion industry”.
So what about bringing sustainability and digitalization together to create a positive change for the future of fashion? That’s where Colect can be of service, facilitating the digitalization of B2B wholesale while optimizing the brand experience.
Both consumers and businesses can no longer deny or ignore the impact the fashion industry has on the environment. The production process of garments, footwear and accessories requires exhaustive natural resources. Replacing them by different resources or creating a more circular production process takes time and money.
The key to making positive change is to start somewhere. If you’re not ready to reinvent your entire production process, you could begin tackling different links in the chain. By reducing the amount of samples needed for instance. In doing so, you could reduce your ecological footprint while saving money at the same time.
Presenting your collections digitally can reduce the amount of samples needed by 30 - 40% per collection. With the right product presentation, photography, storytelling options and features such as shop-the-look, clients will see collections come to life and the need to touch and feel all products becomes obsolete.
As an added benefit, a smaller sample collection also means being able to respond faster to the latest trends and allows brands to renew their collections quicker and more easily.
With an extensive digital presentation of collections leading to fewer samples, showrooms can be reduced in both numbers and size. Apart from the economic benefits in terms of location costs and staff needed, this leads to a significant decrease in movement of people and goods.
If buyers no longer have to travel to showrooms several times per season to view and purchase items, the emission of CO2 is reduced. The same goes for the shipping of goods; fewer samples do not only save resources, but also eliminate the need for transport which has a positive effect on the carbon footprint of fashion brands.
By replacing physical lookbooks for digital ones, printing becomes superfluous. Just think of the amount of paper and ink that could be saved, not to mention the shipping of catalogues that is no longer necessary. Digital lookbooks are a sustainable alternative that saves trees and preserves the environment.
A digital lookbook is in many ways a reinvention of the traditional lookbook. It’s a new and improved way of presenting your collections with a virtual brand experience. The digital lookbook is dynamic, highly visual and features many storytelling options such as video, 360° images and high resolution photography.
In addition to digital lookbooks, an omnichannel approach to digital selling includes a digital order center. The order center allows you to share all order information with stakeholders whenever wherever, without having to print or ship anything.
Finally, let’s talk about your clients. Not just B2B clients, but clients in the consumer market that end up buying your collections. You want them to identify with your products and have a positive connotation associated with your brand. Sustainability can play a major role in this, as well as digitalization.
Modern consumers are more aware than ever. Another McKinsey survey finds that more than 3 in 5 consumers say that the promotion of sustainability was an important factor in their purchasing decisions.
When it comes to digitalization, we’ve seen that the B2B market closely follows the B2C market. The State of Fashion 2021 report finds that the digital customer experience will be one of the top priorities for 2021 according to fashion executives. Brands are expected to “elevate their online customer experience even further, as digital is augmented with physical and vice versa, in increasingly sophisticated ways.”
In order to stay competitive and aligned with needs in both the B2B and B2C market, sustainability and digitalization are key. Combining both by making the transition to a digital wholesale platform is a step towards a better future for both your brand and the planet.