Skip to content
Header Secondary Logo
Header Secondary Logo

Featured in this post

Top 6 Sustainable Fashion Strategies for Your Brand


Explore Apparel ERP

Top 6 Sustainable Fashion Strategies for Your Brand

May 2, 2024

Aptean Staff Writer
Red boot used for potting

The fashion industry is undergoing a green revolution. Consumers today are increasingly prioritizing sustainability, demanding transparency about a brand's practices and environmental impact. This shift creates a golden opportunity.

According to a report by Coherent Market Insights, the Global Sustainable Fashion Market size was valued at $7.80 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $33.05 billion by 2030. By prioritizing fashion sustainability in your business, you'll naturally attract consumers in this growing and loyal market segment and can grab your slice of that very appealing pie.

In addition, sustainable practices in fashion often lead to operational improvements. Reducing waste, using recycled materials and minimizing energy consumption can streamline your production process and potentially cut costs. In short, by going green, you're not just helping the planet; you're also investing in the future of your brand.

But, how do you go about implementing environmentally friendly practices at your business without sacrificing efficiency or hampering day-to-day operations? To help you get started, we’ll discuss some of the biggest sustainable fashion trends and provide seven key strategies that you can implement right now. And finally, we’ll touch on how apparel-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) software empowers you to deliver cost-effective change in your business.

Keep reading to learn how to navigate the exciting world of sustainable fashion.


of the global carbon dioxide output is produced by the fashion industry.

Effective Sustainable Fashion Strategies For Your Business

As these trends make clear, sustainability in fashion and apparel businesses is becoming increasingly essential to reduce environmental impact, comply with regulations and meet consumer demand for eco-friendly products.

Below are six immediate strategies for incorporating sustainable practices into your operations.

1. Choosing Sustainable Materials and Suppliers

Adopting sustainable and eco-friendly materials is critical for reducing the environmental footprint of your products; examples of such materials include organic cotton, recycled polyester and Tencel.

Which materials will be best for your business will vary, but you’ll need to consider the type of product or design, the distance materials can be sourced from, emissions involved in creating them and material life cycle analysis (LCA). You may even want to explore how environmentally friendly the smaller details on your products are, such as zippers, buttons, labels and trim—all of which have more sustainable options available.

Partnering with suppliers who have strong sustainability credentials ensures that your entire supply chain adheres to eco-friendly practices. To get started, you’ll need to clarify your company standards to ensure you only select suppliers that prioritize the same practices and commitments that are important to your business.

Then, to evaluate candidates against those standards you can request their environmental and social responsibility policies, check their compliance with applicable regulations and look for certifications such as Fair Trade, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

2. Implementing Eco-Friendly Production Processes

Adopting green manufacturing processes can significantly reduce the environmental impact of production. This includes using non-toxic dyes, choosing natural cloth materials, recycling water in production and reducing emissions. Technologies like closed-loop manufacturing systems can also help in minimizing waste and maximizing resource efficiency.

Here are some practical steps you can take to implement these strategies in your business:

  • Analyze your material usage, energy consumption and waste generation to identify areas for improvement.

  • Regularly track your emissions, discharges and waste disposal practices.

  • Proactively identify and address any potential pollution risks to safeguard the environment and local wildlife.

  • Consider investing in closed-loop systems, energy-efficient machinery and look for available grants or rebates.

  • Train your team on waste reduction and responsible resource use to empower eco-friendly choices.

3. Leveraging Fashion ERP Software

Technology plays a pivotal role in driving sustainability within the fashion sector. Advanced fashion ERP systems leverage cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) to optimize resource use and minimize waste.

An ERP designed for fashion and apparel is a great place to start as it facilitates:

  • Enhanced Inventory Management - Effective inventory management ensures that products are produced in line with demand, reducing the risk of overproduction. Implementing ERP systems can enhance inventory tracking, forecast demand accurately and streamline operations. This not only reduces waste, but also improves profitability.

  • Supply Chain Management (SCM) - Choosing ERP software combined with electronic data interchange (EDI) helps you track suppliers, enhances collaboration and makes it easy to manage sustainability guidelines, certifications and audits, allowing you build stronger partnerships with responsible suppliers and promote accountability across your supply chain.

  • Data-Driven Decisions - At its heart, ERP gathers vast amounts of data from across your organization. With real-time visibility of accurate data and access to trend and key performance indicator (KPI) reporting you’re able to monitor compliance with sustainability practices and identify areas for improvement.

  • Cost Savings and Efficiency - By automating processes and streamlining workflows, a fashion ERP helps reduce the day-to-day cost of doing business and improves overall operational efficiency. Not only does this help you maximize resource utilization which positively impacts the environment, but it can also free up funds to help you implement new sustainability initiatives or campaigns.

4. Optimizing Production Planning and Waste Reduction

Effective production planning can minimize waste and overproduction. Techniques such as lean manufacturing and just-in-time (JIT) production help in optimizing the use of materials and reducing excess inventory; regular audits can further enhance efficiency and sustainability.

Implementing and optimizing these strategies requires a central nervous system for manufacturing operations. ERP software integrates all your production data, from inventory levels and material requirements to machine capacity and workforce scheduling.

This real-time visibility allows you to:

  • Plan more accurately

  • Reduce waste and overstock

  • Improve resource allocation

  • Automate repetitive tasks

5. Monitoring Energy and Water Consumption

Monitoring and managing energy and water consumption are vital for reducing operational costs and environmental impact.

To achieve sustainability goals, consider these ways:

  • Smart meters and energy management systems provide real-time data to identify areas for improvement in energy consumption.

  • Investing in renewable energy sources like solar or wind power contributes to sustainability goals.

  • Upgrading to water-efficient technologies helps conserve water and promotes sustainability.

6. Leveraging TMS Technology To Reduce Mileage and Emissions

Whether you’re running your own fleet or outsourcing distribution, you should have a keen eye on the environmental impact of delivering your products—after all, there’s no point creating a fantastically sustainable item, just to undo all that hard work with unnecessary truck emissions.

Depending on your distribution model, transportation management systems can either help you identify the best carriers for your needs or optimize the delivery routes of your own fleet to reduce mileage, cut fuel costs and lower emissions—ensuring you can minimize the carbon footprint of your distribution network.

6 Effective Sustainable Fashion Strategies

Building a Greener Future for Fashion With Aptean Apparel ERP

As we've seen, innovative trends, transparency and technology are the cornerstones of building a successful, sustainable fashion brand.

While ERP systems play a crucial role across various industries, Aptean’s industry-specific apparel ERP software offers unique advantages tailored to the challenges of crafting cutting-edge apparel.

Our specialized solution provides real-time data visibility across your entire supply chain, allowing you to identify and source sustainable materials and partners, and ensure complete transparency for your customers. Imagine confidently showcasing the eco-friendly credentials of your garments, building trust and attracting environmentally conscious consumers. It’s a reality with our ERP for fashion and apparel brands.

From design and material sourcing to production, inventory management and distribution, Aptean Apparel ERP optimizes every stage of your fashion operation enhancing efficiency, reducing resource consumption and minimizing your environmental impact.

Moreover, our built-in analytics tools empower you to identify areas for improvement and continuously refine your sustainable practices. This enables you to create a cycle of continuous optimization, refining and optimizing your sustainability standards and providing the visibility and agility to capitalize on evolving trends.

Take fashion to the next level, ethically and sustainably, with our apparel softwarestreamlining your operations saves you money while empowering you to be a leader in eco-conscious practices.

Get in touch with our experts today to schedule your personalized demo.

Ready to transform your fashion and apparel business today?

If you’re ready to take the next step, we’d love to help.