Over the past two years, headlines of fast-fashion and luxury brands burning their merchandise have flooded media outlets. While this came as a shock to the general public, it has actually been a standard industry practice for decades. As societal norms are leaning more towards environmentally conscious practices, destroying unsold products is no longer viewed as an acceptable option. Brands are facing increased scrutiny related to their environmental impact—such as the amount of textile waste that ends up in a landfill—and how they address the issue. While the media have criticized brands for these practices, they have not suggested long-term solutions to resolve the problem. Brands are left in the dark without a road map showing them how to modernize their systems. Furthermore, when governments introduce new bills focused on textile waste, brands experience added pressure. France is in the process of requiring brands to recycle or reuse their unsold goods by January 2020. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for any brand or country: what may work for a fast-fashion brand will not necessarily work for a luxury brand. In the same vein, what may work for France may not work for the United States. This Note explores a number of potential solutions to this problem which range from legal solutions, to reusing, manufacturing, technological, and crisis management solutions. Brands must start to address this issue within their supply chain in a thorough and transparent manner, as this is not a fleeting trend.
Fashion's Destruction of Unsold Goods: Responsible Solutions for an Environmentally Conscious Future,
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