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Friday, February 23, 2024

Artificial intelligence to ensure Smart flexibility by creating more sustainable supply chains

Artificial intelligence is at the heart of the ‘Smart flexibility’ concept which is a new approach that uses a mix of process and data tools enabling suppliers to create additional value for both brands and suppliers that supersedes the benefits of lowest-cost global sourcing.

The International Apparel Federation (IAF) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) hope to use artificial intelligence (AI) to create more sustainable supply chains through a partnership that they announced recently.

They have done their homework and the results of this collaboration, be unveiled at the 38th IAF World Fashion Convention in Philadelphia which is being held on 23rd-24th October. It is a joint study on how textile suppliers and garment manufacturers could reduce overproduction by postponing production closer to demand.

The collaboration is based on the learnings from the automobile and electronics industries. It articulates how companies could use AI to create ‘smart flexibility’, unlocking capital from unneeded inventory and excess production.

The new study is named ‘Under the Banyan Tree: Buyers and Suppliers in Fashion’, is the follow-up of the work of the Sustainable Terms of Trade Initiative (STTI), published and co-initiated by IAF, which made ‘full supply chain profitability’ a research priority in 2021.

The STTI, suggested improvement of purchasing practices, ensuring smart flexibility, or shared risk, as a highly productive alternative to the current imbalance of sourcing relationships. Smart flexibility elevates purchasing practices beyond seasonal, transactional contracts to deliver mutual goals for sustainability, Agreed both the IAF and the ITC. The new technology with AI injects fresh insight across one of the world’s oldest, most globalized supply chains.

IAF Secretary General Matthijs Crietee will moderate a panel session on the project at the World Fashion Convention which is organized in partnership with the IAF’s US partner SPESA (Sewn Products Equipment Suppliers Association of the Americas).

The panel will include study author John Thorbeck, Brad Ballentine, CEO of MAS ACME, the US subsidiary of MAS Holdings, and Scott Walton, head of global business development brands at Kornit Digital.

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