Not so fast! Supply bottlenecks strain fashion chains By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A model walks on an in-house catwalk at the headquarters of British online fashion retailer ASOS in London, Britain, April 1, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett//File Photo

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By James Davey and Lisa Baertlein

LONDON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Supply bottlenecks, slower product deliveries and higher freight and labour costs risk shifting the fast fashion industry into the slow lane, as shown this week by British online fashion retailer ASOS (LON:).

A business model that aims to bring new styles into stores every three or so weeks and where shoppers expect to see fresh, reasonably priced merchandise on each visit is discovering its limitations.

“When it comes to fast fashion, it’s all about being first to market,” said Gus Bartholomew, CEO and co-founder of SupplyCompass, a London-based firm that specialises in product development and delivery software for fashion brands.

“What we’re seeing with most brands is that they’re

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Fast fashion’s increasingly rapid trend cycles are driving major overconsumption

How social media is stoking the already raging flames of environmental issues in the fashion industry and what we are doing about it

Fast fashion has been a mainstay of popular culture for decades. From the fabulously wealthy to the wannabe millionaire with expensive taste, people rely on trendy clothing that’s accessible to all. But a recent increase in the rate at which we cycle through trends has sparked concern: particularly among the TikTok-loving, newly minted environmental advocates of the younger generation. 

Looking back, rising levels of globalization and offshore manufacturing in the ‘90s led to the development of unsustainable fast fashion as we know it today—a chic, flashy beast, fashioned from inhumane conditions and gargantuan contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. That being said, overconsumption is not an entirely modern issue. In fact, calls for sustainable fashion have been around since the flower power movement of the ‘60s, but the

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Can Reformation Make Fast Fashion Sustainable? | BoF Professional, News & Analysis

Last week, Reformation dropped 70 new products on its site, a regular refresh designed to keep consumers coming back to buy more.

It’s a fast fashion-style business model that has come under increasing criticism for its environmental toll. But Reformation wants to prove it can keep scaling, without the negative impact.

The high stakes balancing act is becoming increasingly pressing as the LA-based brand continues to grow. This week it’s launching a new set of sustainability commitments in a bid to convince sceptics that it can successfully sustain a climate-friendly spin on an old-school business model.

The company built its business on the promise of cute, but environmentally-responsible style, even coining a tongue-in-cheek tagline suggesting the only thing more sustainable than Reformation’s clothing is a birthday suit.

The high stakes balancing act is becoming increasingly pressing.

But its growing volumes and fast-paced production have raised questions about whether it

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