At SupplyCompass, we believe in tackling sustainability though a systems-thinking approach, mindful of how we as a technology company can redesign methods of working and help influence change across the complex network of fashion.
Collating and managing product data is the no. 1 challenge we hear from brands. From an impact perspective, without clean, well-structured and accurate data, it’s hard understand to set meaningful goals, and measure your impact. But teams can find it hard to consolidate product data into one place as it usually exists across so many different tools and applications—whew! On the other hand, one platform bringing one single source of truth makes it easy to find and filter real-time data across orders, products, sampling, and suppliers, making it much easier to build the foundation of their sustainability policies.
Plenty of preventable mistakes and waste happen in development, sampling and production. A lack of clarity in communication, incorrect tech pack versions, or duplicate and conflicting information—seemingly small errors—can cause costly mistakes in orders and production. Like a 1000 t-shirts in the wrong size, with the wrong print—disaster! These mistakes aren’t just financially costly but come with an environmental impact too.
A system that reduces the room for miscommunication or error and ensures the right information is at everyone’s fingertips, can reduce mistakes and rejections, improve product quality and help you order exactly the right amount of product.
Fashion product development can get messy pretty easily. Heck, even the most effective teams can spend up to 70% of their time doing repetitive tasks and manual data entry.
Sending lots of emails, making constant modifications to 100s of spreadsheets, managing a growing mass of files and versions shared through various file transfer links.
That’s why we obsess over workflows at SupplyCompass. As a tech company, a key goal of ours is to help fashion brands become more time and resource-efficient.
When brands and manufacturers work together as equal partners, in a truly collaborative manner, we’ve seen that it significantly improves their working relationship. Reducing time spent on repetitive, manual tasks frees up time for them to focus on other more important areas—including their relationship, NPD and joint sustainable innovation.
An imbalance in the power dynamic and accountability between brands and their suppliers in the fashion industry has been the standard for years. But what we really need is value and accountability created and shared equally across the supply chain, instead of being concentrated in the hands of a few.
This motivates many of the design decisions we make. When manufacturers are more empowered, and less pressured to take on unequal responsibilities, it has unseen impacts on garment workers and other stakeholders as well.
A system that encourages openness, excellent communication, tracks shared activity and provides an accurate record of who did what and when helps businesses be more ethical.
So what does a software service or tech company, that doesn’t make physical products, have to do with meeting the SDGs? It turns out, quite a lot. You can read more about how we’ve picked these SDGS here.
We believe in a three-phase, systems-based approach to sustainability that balances short-term goals with long term visions and is fair, inclusive, holistic and hyper-conscious of the role brands play in fashion.
We are a ‘for-profit’ business because we believe that is how we can best affect change in the fashion industry. However, we will never JUST be for-profit. Our approach to, and understanding of what, sustainability means to us as a business has been evolving non-stop since Day 1. It will continue to evolve as we learn, as things change around us, and we experiment, as innovation enables us to do more.
We don’t think it is about perfection but about progression. But we endeavour to be curious, to learn and to try and be at the forefront of thinking. We are less about highlighting bad practice, but more about inspiring and empowering those who didn’t know how, and who perhaps didn’t think it was necessary or important, to start their journey towards change.
As we grow and continue to build more value for the people using our platform, so will our responsibilities towards contributing towards more responsible processes. We continue to review how our actions create meaningful impact and equity across the system.
If you’re still having doubts, our Product Features Guide has got you sorted. We break down all our features and sub-features, explaining how you can use them and what makes them tick, so you can understand how SupplyCompass can help SMEs like you.