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High Tech Textiles: Emerging Sustainability Trends in the Apparel Industry


The consumer voice around sustainability is growing louder. People are asking more questions and demanding more answers about the sustainable practices behind the garments they buy, particularly in Europe and the UK where there has been increased demand for action. 

Consumer demand for greater sustainability in apparel is attracting investors’ interest too. Avery Dennison supports sustainability, customer engagement and supply chain transparency through enabling digitally connected garments via innovative technology solutions built into the garments or labels. Commonly scannable via a QR code on a care label, linked to an app, these digitally connected garments can reveal details such as which farms the cotton came from, how the garment was transported to the consumer, and how the end-user can care for the garment and recycle it at the end of its life. 

4 Key trends include:

1.     The first is digitalization – we are all talking about it, but no one has totally figured it out. Avery Dennison, like so many other businesses, is taking risks and trying new things. This includes, working out how to digitize the process of consumer engagement and connecting with customers in a digital manner.

2.     Harnessing the power of collaboration – everyone is going through a similar experience, and the more we can communicate and share these experiences the greater the chance we have of settling on the best solution for each issue.

3.     There are massive opportunities in terms of a customer experience to digitize, creating more efficiency and less waste. This could be as simple as eliminating all physical sampling that happens within the apparel industry, from how your garment is made to the bracket tags that hang off a garment.

4.     Supply chain transparency – consumers want to know more about their garments, where and how it was made, and what it is made from. Legislation is on the horizon too. Brands must therefore improve their supply chain transparency to enable them to communicate this information to the consumer, and meet compliance requirements in the future. 

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