Supply Chain Management is Key to Sustainability

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​Research conducted by Yazbehl Waters as part of her master's thesis focused on U.S.-based stakeholder groups' expectations for environmental performance of apparel brands and retailers. Recently published in the Journal of Corporate Citizenship, the study brings to light the interest and concerns of the three groups that are influential stakeholders in the apparel industry: the American Apparel & Footwear Association, Organic Exchange (now Textile Exchange), and Ceres. Working with Marsha Dickson and Dilia Lopez-Gydosh, case studies were developed for each group. Looking across the research, the groups share the belief that apparel brands and retailers need to address the issues of water usage, chemical use and management, and carbon footprint measuring and reduction. In-depth supply chain management is believed to be key to tackling these environmental issues. In-depth supply chain management includes company representatives familiarizing themselves with each layer within their supply chain, from the farm to the factory to the store, and then investing in their supply chain with clear communication, capacity building, education, training, steady order placement, and stakeholder engagement.

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