Recently Denimsandjeans held a webinar ‘What Next For Denim’ with some of very well known and globally reputed denim professionals . The panelists included :
1. Albert Candiani (Owner – Candiani Mills) 2. Aamir Akhtar (CEO- Arvind Mills) 3. Alberto De Conti( Head Of Fashion Division- Rudolf) 4. Maurizio Donadi (Co-Founder – Atelier & Repairs) 5. Carlos Arias (CEO- Jeanologia) 6. Stefano Aldighieri( President – Another Design Studio)
The talk was moderated by Sandeep Agarwal and Stefano Aldighieri . We now bring the comments of the panelists of our key questions related to denim industry in a series of six articles with each article giving clear views of each panelist.
In the current article, we bring the thoughts of Carlos Arias – CEO Jeanologia. We share his original comments on some of the questions that were put to him during the discussion . (video of his talk here)
WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR DENIM?
The way forward for Denims is really about transforming resetting deeply understanding that consumers and also we all fall in love with denim as consumers.
I think there is really a visceral in a way in which we connect to denim as a market and that’s why we are so privileged to work in this market in which Denim is such an important part of what we do.
We were discussing earlier how we connect there and how do we keep that and for many years now I think our we have been as an industry not performing that well. We have distanced ourselves, Increased the length of supply chains, disconnected from the consumers in many ways – it’s almost crazy trying to saying that we can figure out what consumers want twelve months in advance . There needs to be clarity about how we create postponement strategies , how do we integrate better , how do we make it more fair collaboration between supply chain partners.
We are seeing fairness as this crisis is unfolding. It’s a terrible crisis but there’s some fairness that needs to get back into the game and one of the things I believe is that we today have extraordinary tools that we don’t use enough.
The digital integration is gonna make more sense than ever and the consumer today understands the world differently and sees the world differently.
We still spend tremendous amounts of money developing with physical samples making DHL and UPS and all of those guys millions upon millions of dollars when we could be collaborating significantly more on a digital platform and then bringing things to market faster.
I see a world where denim mills like Arvind and Candiani push for factories to understand their product better and really do beautiful products that connect with consumers almost instantly work with brands.
We have now digital platforms that would allow this collaboration should be happening more and we are in a good moment where we need to think about that then I completely agree with Stefano’s point on this about less than about reducing the use of chemicals, reducing the use of water, reducing our footprint in this world and we’ve talked about sustainability for a while, more people are understanding why it’s important but it we have to be really clear about what makes a supply chain sustainable.
WHAT ARE THE 3 KEY THINGS DENIM INDUSTRY NEEDS TO DO?
I’ve mentioned the digital world because consumers embrace and understand that we can start now customizing everything from our pizza to our tennis shoes and we still have little a few things that were to do with denim and there’s been some really clever experiments that have been done at customization and certainly collaboration.
Digital collaboration to meet sounds fantastic. We now have the technology to get people who really love denim to participate to bring in ideas and I think we need to focus on that ecosystem does become really digital.
That allows us to work with raw material producers fantastic fabric and how do you match fabric with the specific finishing that you want etc. So, I think the digital world is number one also I love the concept of an open honest sustainability and traceability .
I think greenwashing guys need to stop. We need to reassure consumers that when we say something sustainable, we have to be careful about hurting the industry with false claims or inaccurate claims.
We need to be very responsible in the way we pursue sustainability as an industry and I really believe that we can do it .We are wholeheartedly believers that this industry being a smart as it is as clever, it is as creative as it is, we can find a way and a path forward.
The last thing I would like to say is that we need to figure out a more financially viable model than having a huge inventory based there are like betting a million dollars on a roll of dice, it’s too much, it’s hurting everybody’s – it’s hurting stores, it’s hurting brands, it’s hurting factories, it’s hurting mills, it’s hurting everybody when we don’t have logical decision making and how we finance and how we interpret inventory.
It’s crazy to think that we can survive having like with millions of garments never sold , are never used and that are just dumped. We have to be more clever and I think we are clever as an industry and we have to figure out a fair way to share risk throughout the supply chain so that we hurt each other less . So I’m feeling that we can do about it a few of these things right that my friends have said we’re gonna be in very good footing.