This article was written by Tracy Wong, the Founder of Voor
The fashion industry is notorious for being one of the highest contributors to climate change and excessive waste has become an inevitable by-product. With the threat of the current climate crisis looming and becoming more urgent than ever, it is essential that the fashion industry start consciously adapting to more sustainable practices. These practices should not just reflect explicitly in the finished product, but in the supply chain itself.
For it is the archaic ways and methods of production that have led the fashion industry to contribute to 10% of the global greenhouse gas emissions according to a report by the United Nations. The industry alone produced 2.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2018. This number represents 4% of the global carbon emissions that year. Additionally, almost 20% of the global water waste is created by the fashion industry. With the acknowledgment that the only way to be truly sustainable was to not create at all, Voor was created.
Voor is a B2B fashtech startup that provides fashion brands with SaaS virtual showroom solutions along with merchandising functionalities. Fashion Consultancy firm Green Strategy defines sustainable fashion as “clothing, shoes and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects”, which provides the base conventional definition of sustainability for the fashion industry. The avenue for true sustainability that Voor believes in, differs from the efforts heavily marketed in the industry today.
Voor believes in processes that are either carbon neutral or negative, and “sustainable”, “recycled” materials, or any upcycling efforts cannot achieve that in a way going virtual would. The current supply chain is very linear, inefficient and wasteful. Voor aims to tackle this problem by trying to make the supply chain more synchronous, agile and sustainable and streamlining the supply chain processes. Voor does not intend to add an additional step to a brand’s existing pipeline, but to replace and compile certain stages, thus creating Voor’s solution and reflected with virtual showrooms along with the brand’s 3D designs. This showroom can then be used and shared internally or with merchandisers all around the world, without stepping outside the office (or home).
By utilizing Voor’s solutions, businesses can cut down travel costs, sampling costs, showroom costs and sample waste by 50%. Time to market can also significantly decrease by at least 3-6 months. Many consumers are unaware of pre-production sample wastage, practically 35% of all materials used in the supply chain end up in landfills prior to reaching the customer as a finished product. There are many reasons behind this, for instance, incorrect sampling, wasted samples as a result of last-minute change in product design, and canceled orders, amongst many. Another important reason is fabric ending up as cutting waste with around 15% of apparel fabric winding up on the cutting room floor. According to a report published by Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin, humanity has a little more than 7 years as of now before we can do irreparable damage to the earth. These, along with many others are aggregate reasons to call for change when looking at sustainability as a whole.
Voor aims to utilize existing and growing technology to halt the fashion industry's environmental impact by enacting their solutions on a global scale. This is no longer a battle for some, it is a needed change for all.
Check out Voor 3D's virtual showroom in partnership with Fashinnovation in conjunction with NYFW.