We have been seeing and experiencing the continued increase in prices in a broad range of areas. From food to energy, to transportation, and the list can go on! But what is the reason behind this increase, and what changes can you make in your business to reduce costs? In this article, we will look at what the effects will be and how you can get a grasp on your business by making sustainable choices.

These overall increases in prices can be attributed to the computation of different factors. We have been experiencing an increase in prices due to the large decrease in revenue as an aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the inflation rate has escalated abruptly. Shortages in oil and gas due to the war in Ukraine have been pumping the prices since mid-2022 and they are expected to increase significantly this coming winter. In the always-on-sale world of fashion, rising inflations bring indisputable changes to the industry.

A CRISIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY, NOT A CATASTROPHE. 

There is no greater motivation to change than a crisis. Success stories such as Toyota and Porsche were born in crises. There are some options that can reduce the costs of a brand while making your company more sustainable, helping both your pocket and the environment.

How is the inflation affecting fashion brands?

As prices rise, brands are more concerned about the demand. Well-known brands with high volume of customers will still be able to sell their products at lower prices, while the medium and small brands with inconsistent demand will experience greater difficulty when the time comes.

Another major factor affecting the fashion industry is the customers’ needs and priorities. For example, due to increased demand for basic products and services such as food and medical care, clients will have less spending budget and fashion won’t be their highest priority. 

There are certain changes you can implement to your business today that can help you reduce the costs of your business. Here are our selected 11 sustainable choices that will support your fashion brand in these crucial times.

Energy Tips:

  • Save energy with smart thermostats: Smart thermostats controlled through any internet-connected device makes it easy to adjust the office temperature settings and heating, also remotely. This way energy usage is reduced, which means fewer emissions and cheaper energy bills too. 
  • Understand your energy bills: Try to understand the monthly invoice as well as reaching out to your energy supplier for ways to reduce costs instead of paying without knowing where the energy consumption comes from. Being able to get big-picture data about how energy is used on-site can allow managers to make more meaningful energy-saving changes. 
  • Implement a switch-off campaign: If you have a significant energy bill, implement a switch-off campaign raising awareness among employees and workers and their role in reducing energy consumption. Provide guidelines to employees about switching off lights and energy-consuming appliances before leaving the workplace or when not in use. Use this energy-saving bootcamp to become part of your brand’s culture.
  • Switching to renewable energy source: Solar energy is a renewable, clean, and free source of energy that you can use in your office. Even if they require an initial investment, they are becoming increasingly cheaper and easier to afford and will cut your energy costs significantly in the long run. EnergySage market data suggests that “the average commercial property owner in the U.S. can reduce 75 percent of their energy costs by going solar.”

There are also other options that can be considered depending on the geographical location of your business. Wind turbines are also a renewable and green source of energy and can save substantial amounts of money depending on the business’s consumption.

Solar panels for saving energy
  • occupancy-sensor lighting: Consider installing motion- or occupancy-sensor lighting in conference rooms, bathrooms, storage cupboards, the warehouse, the plant, or other areas that are not used continually and can unnecessarily add up to the monthly bill.

Manufacturing Tips:

  • Aim to zero waste: Waste is the result of the inefficient use of materials, and waste costs are even two folded:
  1. you pay for materials that you don’t use
  2. you pay again to get rid of them

By using raw materials more efficiently, recycling, upcycling, reusing and reducing for example packaging and making production processes more efficient, you can save money and help reduce the amount of waste. Most waste ends up in landfills, so by doing this you generate positive impacts on the environment and save money all in one!

  • Make use of reusable packaging: Packaging materials account for a significant portion of the waste we generate. Avoid using single-use paper or plastic cups by substituting them for glasses or mugs. In production and distribution, reusable transport packaging systems such as the ones shown below, offer massive cost reductions. For instance saving space as well as lower waste and packaging costs, due to the extended life of reusable packaging resulting in lower cost per use than single-use packaging. 
reusable packaging for fashion brands

Designer: Simon Chantrel

save money and costs with re-usable packaging

Image: RePack

  • Consider using recycled fabrics and upcycling. By organizing pickups or contacting manufacturers and other brands that generate a great amount of fabric waste or have already used products. You can obtain these fabrics or materials at a lower price. In our platform, Manufy offers the possibility for brands to ask for certain materials when looking for manufacturers, these materials can go from recycled to organic to many more options so give it a try and look at the more sustainable materials available in our platform!
  • Change transportation mode: As gas prices are increasing, changing the form of transport of goods from air to rail is a great option. It’s easy, getting cheaper and cheaper, and is way more sustainable than air transport. Rail transportation emits more than 3.6 times less than air transportation. This translates to a great difference in your business’s CO2 emissions! On Manufy we offer this option when looking for manufacturers and this can be done just with one click. Try this option on our platform and start being part of the solution!

Extra tips:

  • Allow employees to work remotely: Allowing employees to work from home or hybrid during the week can save costs in various ways. This varies with the business and their mode of work but as a brand working in the fashion industry, this choice can be more tangible and accessible.  Many businesses would have disappeared during the Covid-19 lockdown if it wasn’t because of remote working. More and more workers are starting to prefer this option because of the freedom this working environment gives them as well as the time and money it saves.
reduce costs employees work from home
  • Buy used furniture: Consider buying quality used furniture when decorating and furnishing your office. It enables you to save great amounts of money with no difference in the overall functioning of the business. You can’t go wrong with vintage furniture, give your creative soul free rein and make your business one of a kind!

There are many ways of making this problem part of your solution! Creativity is the lifejacket in times of crisis and these tips added together can make a difference both for the environment and your costs. The possibilities are many and are different for every business, so we recommend you to give it a go and look at how you can make a difference in your own company. Manufy is very interested in whether you adopt or try these tips so let us know what you think and other tips you are implementing that can also help others! Together we can make a change without getting lost in the way!