On Curbing Fashion Anarchy in the U.K.

Robert Zoch
June 20, 2022

According to this recent item in WWD, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently brought together key government and fashion industry leaders to an event at 10 Downing Street in which £80 million was committed to fund an initiative for sustainable, circular fashion production in the United Kingdom. The event represents the culmination of a campaign driven by the British Fashion Council, whose chair, Stephanie Phair, described their motivations as such:

“The fashion industry is a big part of the problem, so we must be a big part of the solution. We need to address how we design, source, produce, ship, market product, shop and deal with waste that currently goes to landfill.”

These allocations, which will fund a 10-year Fashion Industry Sustainable Change Program to “create a world-leading, circular fashion ecosystem with innovation and creativity front and center,” are another indication government authorities across the industrialized world are taking action in pursuit of more responsible, conscientious production models that eliminate waste and many of the unsettling byproducts that waste brings – from excessive landfills to air pollution to contaminated drinking water, all the way up to opaque supply chains exploiting unfair labor practices and human rights abuses.

Here at Kornit, we applaud these efforts, and believe these goals can be achieved today with effective strategies that combine:

  • Efficient, eco-friendly production technologies;
  • A lean, just-in-time, localized fulfillment model that produces only what is sold, quickly and nearer the end consumer; and
  • Digital workflows – encompassing online stores, design tools, social listening, Internet of Things connectivity, real-time data analysis and planning capabilities, production resource management, and shipping logistics – to enable smooth, frictionless experiences for consumer and producer alike, without sacrificing quality or profitability, eliminating overproduction to simply give the people what they want, at the speed they expect, in accordance with their values.

This commitment to more eco-conscious, less wasteful production while unleashing creativity in exciting new ways have underpinned our series of Kornit Fashion Week exhibitions, including our most recent event just a short tube ride from 10 Downing Street.

It is why we published an extensive Impact Report detailing the precise path we’re blazing to eliminate the estimated 1.1 billion apparel items overproduced using traditional production methods, save an estimated 4.3 trillion liters of water that is typically wasted using those methods, and prevent an estimated 17.2 billion kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions. Stay tuned for this year’s edition, which will see Kornit continuing to hold its business accountable to those goals.

It drives the work of our partners at Fashion-Enter, whose operation just a few more stops away on the Underground demonstrates precisely how possible it is to “make it British,” make it quickly, make it with quality, and make it sustainably.

It drives the work of print businesses like Cardiff-based My Needs Are Simple, who believe “all companies should be doing absolutely everything they can do within their power to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as they possibly can, and if they’re considering a direct-to-garment machine, the Kornit is the perfect solution.” It’s proven successful for so many forward-thinking print operations now thriving in the United Kingdom, and worldwide.

“I am delighted to support this brilliant industry as it moves forward with a 10-year program bringing opportunities across the U.K. to meet our Government Climate Action Plan of environmental and societal change,” said Prime Minister Johnson as this new initiative kicked off.

So are we. If you’d like to learn more about making “green fashion” a reality through digital on-demand production, or build relationships with print service providers and apparel fulfillers offering a sustainable, eco-responsible alternative to wasteful, outdated production models today, contact us to climb aboard.