New fashion transparency index released
The non-profit Community Interest Company Fashion Revolution, together with Ethical Consumer released a new index regarding the level of supply chain transparency top fashion brands achieve. The end goal was to find out what these brands are doing to improve social and environmental standards and assess how much of that information is shared with the public. Public financial data was used to select the top 40 brands that are included in the index, ranging from various sectors within the fashion industry, including footwear, denim, sportswear and accessories. Participation in the index was not voluntary. Fashion Revolution and Ethical Consumer wanted to show consumers how little we truly know about the long, complex supply chain processes associated with the fashion industry. The 40 companies were assessed in 5 key areas: Policy and commitment, tracking and traceability, audits and remediation, engagement and collaboration and lastly, governance.
The three brands that received a top rating in the transparency index are H&M, Inditex and Levi Strauss & Co. The 3 brands that ranked the lowest in the index were Chanel, Hermes and Claire’s Accessories. One key takeaway from the index is that the majority of companies scored well in the policy and commitment category. However, long term sustainability strategies were missing. Chanel, the lowest ranking brand in the transparency index, did not take the news of this ranking lightly. The company responded with a statement, claiming the index only measures a company’s communication policies, not their actual actions regarding transparency. A Chanel representative also claimed actions are more important than media coverage.
To read more on this new index, click here.
Toyota supply chain in trouble after earthquakes
Many Japanese companies are scrambling to recover from two major earthquakes that hit Southern Japan last week and tragically claimed the lives of at least 40 people. Toyota, for example, was forced to shut down 26 car assembly lines this past week, and Honda’s motorbike plant also came to a standstill. For Toyota, it is the second time in three months that the company had to stop its manufacturing process, which has resulted in significant losses in production. In February, the company lost production of approximately 90,000 vehicles after a week-long shutdown as a result of an explosion on the premises of one of its suppliers. The break in manufacturing resulting from the recent quakes is expected to last at least two weeks, according to some industry experts. One major Toyota supplier, Aisin Seiki Co., was located very close to the epicenter of one of the quakes. This supplier is a key element in the company’s supply chain, responsible for the delivery of door and engine components. As was with the tsunami in 2011, the lean supply chain practices that typically represent operational efficiency show their vulnerable side when it comes to natural disasters.
Read more on Toyota’s supply chain woes here.
Look, it’s a drone…on the ground
It seems as though there is the announcement of a new startup addressing the “last mile” aspect of deliveries that rolls across the supply chain and logistics headlines on a weekly basis. Most recently, we have seen a significant amount of attention placed on aerial drones. This week, however, an article in Bloomberg Technology introduced a different kind of “drone” that may be sharing a sidewalk near you in the coming weeks. Starship Technologies has designed a delivery robot that resembles a picnic cooler to address the last mile aspect of package deliveries. While Amazon, Google and Wal-Mart focus on airborne drones, Starship and competing firm Dispatch are trying to solve logistics’ most inefficient aspect with droids. These droids are designed to travel on sidewalks, which has simplified the process of obtaining permission to test their effectiveness on urban streets. Starship’s droid can carry 20 pounds of goods but moves at only four miles per hour. The goods are protected by an electronic lock as well as a tracking system coupled with a camera. These three aspects are expected to deter thieves from picking up and running away with the 35-pound machine.
Read more on the latest news in the race to solve the last-mile logistics problem here.
Have a great weekend!