Recycling of clothes in sustainable supply chains

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MAGAZINE  №6 (95) December 2019

AUTHORS Lakhno Y.V.

CATEGORY  Industrial companies’ corporate logistics Supply chains reliability and sustainability Return flows management (reverse logistics) Modern concepts and technologies in logistics and SCM

 

 

ABSTRACT

 A significant increase in clothing production, following the optimization of the largest brands supply chains, has led to modern consumers considering the cheapest items of clothing almost disposable. Clothing production, especially from synthetic fibers, leaves a significant environmental footprint, and as a result of the accumulation of things in landfills, environmental pollution has increased markedly. In recent years, in order to remain valuable to consumers, corporations managing the largest fashion supply chains have become more environmentally, socially and business friendly. The growing population and the ingrained need for new fashion items make it necessary to further study the issues of sustainable development of clothing supply chains.
The article is devoted to the study of best practices in the field of clothing recycling management that allow minimizing the negative impact on the environment.
The following issues were researched: to consider measures taken in various countries to reduce clothing dumps, to identify the composition of partners involved in operations for collecting, sorting and processing material flows in the supply chains of fashion clothing; to analyze the experience of major global corporations in involving buyers in clothing processing; to identify problems and prospects for the development of the practice of processing clothing flows in the supply chains.
The following results of Russian and foreign researchers were used as theoretical and methodological basis of the study: first, the diversity of participants in the fashion industry, as well as the increasing scale of the problem of landfills and waste, indicate the need to use a systematic approach to problem-solving; second, modern supply chains do not develop without being transparent, which is provided by digital technologies; third, to ensure sustainable development, companies create closed supply chains, which involves re-designing supply chains and improving the efficiency of return flow management.
The empirical base of the study was made up of the experience of companies included in the Gartner rating of the 25 largest supply chains in 2019, materials from clothing manufacturers ' associations and international analytical companies.
The paper differentiates partners involved in the processing of clothing, identifies areas of use of new technologies that contribute to the processing of second-hand items. Based on the analysis, measures that allow developing the practice of closed supply chains in the fashion industry were identified. The paper concludes that recycling is still an expensive and complex process in the organization, leading to companies finding solutions for the reuse of clothing, giving it a fashionable appearance; ecological design is given more significance when the technology of clothes processing is laid down at the stage of creating clothes.

 Electronic version

 Keywords:  supply chain management, closed-loop supply chain management, recycling, return flows, industry 4.0

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