Fashion supply chain: a reputational tool

Are there links between the supply chain and a fashion brand’s reputation?

We could easily describe the supply chain as a series of processes behind the production and distribution of an asset, but perhaps you don’t know that we could also consider it as a reputational tool as well.

Ethical responsibility was indefinite and purely theoretical concept, but it has recently gained a lot of public attention.

In this article, we’ll explain why you shouldn’t underestimate it!

A healthy chain: how do you recognized it?

There are several aspects to take into consideration based on the interlocutors, depending on whether they are the supply chain’ suppliers or the final customers.

For Consumers

Nowadays, consumers are becoming more and more concerned about the impact of their purchasing behaviour – and they are quickly turning their backs on companies that are perceived as unethical.

For Stakeholders

The key stakeholders of the market are looking for “spotless brands”, companies whose ethical behaviour is able to reassure both buyers and suppliers.

The supply chain management has become a key factor, but what are the challenges of making an ethical supply chain in the fashion industry in 2021? 

That issues are making the management of corporate ethical responsibilities increasingly complex, and increasingly important.

A “respectable” supply chain must be able to achieve its operational goals (such as product quality and on-time delivery) and, at the same time, must help the company become a good corporate citizen.

Responsible supply management: how to realize that?

An ethically responsible supply management can be characterized by a “green” approach to its environmental impact. But also by contributions to the benefit of communities and society – all positions that contribute positively to the company’s reputation.

In this way, the supply chain can give body to elements of positive differentiation from the competition. Advantages that can be used to increase the reputational capital of the company.

Businesses with better reputations generally receive a higher level of support from stakeholders, which means that such companies can easily improve their results and recover more quickly in the event of possible recessions.

But the question is: “Why pay attention to the supply chain when quality, price and delivery expectations are already met?”

Which are the possible risks?

A inadequate supply chain management can damage the corporate reputation.

Too many CEOs and executives focus on product, marketing and sales, often neglecting reputational impacts. Those who embrace this short-sighted view frequently take the importance of supply chain management lightly.

This type of approach may seem the quickest and most appropriate option, but only as long as everything goes smoothly. 

We need to be aware that when something goes wrong, consumers are eager to uncover supply chain management in search of a culprit.

• Does the company exploit child labor?
• How clean are the criminal records of suppliers
• Do the company activities follow an eco-sustainable protocol or do they pollute above the permitted limits?

What aspects to look at?

Paying special attention to your supply chain can prevent damage to image, but not only. It is also a very useful activity to increase the global reputation of the brand.

To implement a positive and fruitful supply chain management, it is important to focus on the following areas: human rights, environmental impact and degree of stakeholder involvement.

Today, reputation management is an interesting challenge: let’s not underestimate it, and let’s try not to forget that everything starts with simple common sense.

If want to know how The ID Factory team can help you and your fashion brands to win this challenge, book a quick demo now!

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