In the world of clothing, the concept of “circular fashion” is becoming increasingly important – and this has consequences for the industry’s supply chains. In contrast to “fast fashion” with its (according to the trade magazine Transport Intelligence) “buy, wear once and then throw away” model, the “circular fashion” approach centers around sustainability. For example in the production process. It is reported that there is evidence of an increase in the recycling rate – and hence a decrease in “pre-consumer leftovers”. For the logistics service providers involved, this means a corresponding decrease in the volume of raw materials they need to transport to the production facilities.
But “circular fashion” also has a positive impact on logistics – because the concept is simultaneously boosting the trend towards online clothing rental. According to Transport Intelligence, portals catering for this trend have been established in the United States, in Europe and in Asia – and emerging along with them is a burgeoning demand for transport and handling capacities.
First up, the rental garments need to be shipped to the users. Once the rental period is over, they need to be taken to processing centers for checking and cleaning. And then they go back to the warehouse – for storage, and to be tagged as available in the WMS. This entire sequence of operations holds plenty of potential for logistics service providers who – like DB Schenker – can offer solutions for the last mile and for returns, along with value added services.
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