UKFT & IBM nominated for MCA fashion sustainability award

Sustainability

UKFT and IBM Consulting have been nominated for the MCA 2022 Sustainability Award for their project on Sustainable Supply Chain Optimisation.

The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) has worked with Tech Data and the Future Fashion Factory to design, prototype and pilot a new technology platform based on IBM technologies, to further transparency within the UK fashion supply chain.

MCA rewards consulting efforts as well as projects that can have a positive and sustainable impact on various industries in the UK or overseas. This reflects the aim of the SSCO project, which is to help the sector become more sustainable and profitable through increased visibility and transparency throughout its supply chain.

Jointly funded by the UK Government through UK Research and Innovation and Innovate UK, this nine-month pilot project started in April 2021. The organisations involved with SSCO were retailers Next, H&M (COS brand), N Brown, New Look and yarn manufacturer Laxtons. The project scope included:

Developing a data-driven technology platform to enable real-time decision making, effective track-and-trace and more sustainable choices in the UK fashion supply chain

Helping meet the Government’s commitment to the development of new innovations of digital technology within UK manufacturing, through this new platform

Overall, the Sustainable Supply Chain Optimisation project has helped prove that it is possible to trace raw material through each stage of the supply chain. On top of providing retailers with traceability, visibility and the provenance of the raw material, this platform could increase the ability to manage risk within the supply chain.

The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) is working with IBM, Tech Data, and the Future Fashion Factory to design, prototype and pilot a new technology platform based on IBM technologies to help the UK fashion and textile industry to drive sustainability and profitability through increased transparency within the supply chain. Retailers Next, H&M (COS brand), N Brown, New Look and yarn manufacturer Laxtons will be part of the initial pilot.

A consortium will develop a data-driven technology platform to enable real-time decision making, effective track-and-trace and more sustainable choices in the UK fashion supply chain.

The platform will help to meet the Government’s commitment to the development of new innovations of digital technology within UK manufacturing.

The Sustainable Supply Chain Optimisation project has been awarded £1.4m funding by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, on behalf of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge.

UKFT’s ceo Adam Mansell, said: “Sustainability and transparency has been an issue for the industry for a number of years and has become increasingly important throughout the whole of the supply chain. This move is driven predominantly by retail and a desire to understand where products are made, how they are made and how employees in the different supply chains are looked after.”

The SSCO project aims to develop a platform that all stakeholders, from microbusinesses through to large retailers, can use to input data and access that data to understand their supply chains more clearly. It will allow them to understand the pinch points and they can use that insight to change their own business models to deliver a more sustainable fashion and textile industry.

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