The capacity of our industry to produce and deliver apparel to consumers has increased rapidly over the last few decades. As fashion supply chains have grown, so has the amount of waste. In order to remain relevant and profitable, major manufacturers must respond to consumers’ environmental concerns. Sustainability is hampered by returned and unsold merchandise, one of the biggest challenges facing industry leaders. Luckily online B2B platforms like BDSTX offer solutions to aid. We’ll explore how one key solution is helping cut waste in the apparel industry as we read on.

Fashion Waste: The State of the Matter

A rise in return rates is undeniable. In 2021, 16.6% of retail purchases were returned, up from 10.6% in 2020, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Online shopping has accelerated a cultural shift that expects fast, easy, no-questions-asked returns. Online retailers have even higher return rates. There are 20.8% of returns for online goods, according to the NRF. Clothing is no exception to this trend; in fact, it is quite the opposite. Clothing purchased online has a 30% return rate, according to fashion industry experts. Considering how difficult it can be to find the right color, fit, and quality online, this is not surprising at all. 

B2B Platforms & Waste Reasons

Consumers these days are sensitive to sustainability, which puts the modern fashion industry at odds with them.

Returns that are not sellable 

Managing returned merchandise is costly and resource intensive-a business must pay for shipping, storing, inspecting, relabeling, repackaging, re-cataloging, and more. If the items are in pristine functioning, virtually unused condition, it may not be worth a manufacturer’s effort to put them back on their shelves.

Production practices that are irresponsible

In addition to manufacturing inefficiency, there is another problem in the industry that begins at the beginning. Consider design and production as an example. It is often said by eco-conscious brands that training designers to become more sustainable is the first step in preventing waste. One way to do this is simply to use less material throughout the design process. However, fabric mills require orders of 10 to 50 yards or more. Most samples-and even a few replicas-take no more than 10 yards to create. In the event that that style does not make it to production, A landfill is likely to be the final destination.

How BDSTX’s B2B Platforms can aid

BDSTX provides a solution in the form of private, online platforms. The fact that there are so many eager buyers whose businesses thrive on liquidation and bargain deals. Start shopping today for bulk savings on apparel. 


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