Fast fashion is a rapidly expanding subsection of an already environmentally problematic industry. What does a truly sustainable fashion industry model look like—and will customers buy it?
In Delve’s The "New Normal" podcast series, Professor Javad Nasiry from the Desautels Faculty of Management joins journalist Dave Kaufman to discuss the environmental impact of the fast fashion industry and what can be done to lessen its carbon footprint. Nasiry examines certain initiatives already underway and whether they have made a measurable difference, delving into the question of what an alternative to today’s fast fashion would look like and if it could make the industry more sustainable.
Nasiry’s research found that a key driver of low product quality is the firm's incentive to offer variety to consumers: with variety comes less risk in an industry of uncertain trends. Rethinking fast fashion means creating incentives for innovation of both new technologies and new business models
“At the moment, the approach is to say that we have a profitability framework, so we are profit maximizers as a corporation, and sustainability comes as a constraint shackle of what we can do; it becomes a nuisance,” says Nasiry. “Hopefully if we can change this into a framework of sustainability within which we are trying to maximize the profit, then we will have a much more sustainable business model.”
Founded in 2019, Delve is the official thought leadership publication of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management. Under the direction of Professor Saku Mantere, inaugural Editor-in-Chief, Delve features the latest in management thinking that stretches perspectives, sparks new ideas, and brings clarity to decision-makers at all levels and across sectors.