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Supply Chain Management of Textile Industry: A Case Study on Bangladesh

This study addresses a descriptive study on the current scenario of Textile industry in Bangladesh. This paper demonstrates above mentioned scenario in terms of supply chain management (SCM). The textile industry, an important segment in Bangladesh’s manufacturing industry, play a critical role in its economic development. The textile sector fulfils almost cent percent domestic demand apart from the fulfilling the external demand of clothing and apparels to a large extent in Bangladesh. The Textile industry is a long chain including raw materials production, complement production, clothing production and so on. SCM concept is made possible as a conventional management tool for all manufactures are to strive to improve their product quality, to reduce their product and service cost and to shorten their product delivery and response time in a highly competitive market. This research developed based on the secondary data, including online databases, journals, review papers, etc. The effective SCM of textile industry include lower inventories, lower costs, higher productivity, greater productivity, greater agility shorter lead times, higher profits and greater customer loyalty. This paper encompasses the constraints of textile industry in Bangladesh, including ineffective communication, invisibility of SCM, long lead time, etc. which would unlock further research to develop this sector.

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Please note you do not have access to teaching notes, exploitation in bangladeshi ready-made garments supply chain: a case of irresponsible capitalism.

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN : 0957-4093

Article publication date: 20 September 2022

Issue publication date: 18 January 2023

Despite considerable research and constant pressure from global media, exploitation has been a persistent problem in the Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) supply chain. Yet, the root causes of how and why exploitation still persists remain unexplored. This paper explores the reasons underlying the existence of exploitation in the RMG supply chain of Bangladesh using the theoretical lens of responsible capitalism.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on 98 interviews conducted at multiple levels of the RMG supply chain ecosystem, site visits, observation and archives, the authors unpack the underlying reasons for the existence of exploitation in Bangladeshi RMG supply chain.

Using the theoretical lens of responsible capitalism, the findings suggest the existence of exploitation as a multifaceted yet nuanced phenomenon that is a result of complex power dynamics, interdependency and interconnectedness of players at multiple levels of the supply chain. The authors extend responsible capitalism theory by adding local context as a key determinant for the RMG supply chain to be responsive, effective and sustainable. The authors further argue the need for a new business model in global supply chain that calls for a fundamental shift of businesses towards responsible capitalism via transformative actions at multiple levels for balancing power in relationships, generate profit with ethical integrity and take responsibility of the consequences of their actions.

Research limitations/implications

The authors use a contextualized case study of the RMG supply chain in Bangladesh using a critical realist approach. Although the use of contextualized case study has enabled better understanding of causal relationships between management practices and exploitation in the local context of Bangladesh, a quantitative approach to establish causality between different factors could be the focus of future research. The findings are specific to the context of Bangladeshi RMG supply chain and may have limited generalizability in other contexts. Further studies may build upon the findings to explore exploitation in RMG supply chain of other sectors and countries in the region and compare the findings to develop comprehensive understanding about the root causes of exploitation.

Practical implications

The findings call for a fundamental shift of business towards responsible capitalism via transformative actions of multiple players across different levels of the supply chains with managerial implications.

Originality/value

By drawing on empirical research, the authors provide a holistic perspective of responsible capitalism that is influenced by interactions and interconnectedness of players in multiple levels of the supply chain. The authors expand the responsible capitalism theory by adding local context as a key determinant that need to be considered for supply chains to be responsive, effective and sustainable.

  • Exploitation
  • Responsible capitalism
  • Ready-made garment supply chain

Uddin, M.J. , Azmat, F. , Fujimoto, Y. and Hossain, F. (2023), "Exploitation in Bangladeshi ready-made garments supply chain: a case of irresponsible capitalism?", The International Journal of Logistics Management , Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 164-188. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-12-2021-0565

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Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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Supply Chain Management on Apparel Order Process: A Case Study In Bangladesh Garment Industry

Profile image of Shafiqul Islam

Bangladesh Garment Industry improvement is desired in reducing the Supply time required to produce and fulfill the orders placed by foreign companies. One way to decrease the supply time required for producing RMG is to increase domestic linkage expansion way we can have deep level improvements in the RMGI too. Supply time refers to the time required for supplying ordered garment products after the export order has received. Using modern fast and effective machinery can reduce time taken to deliver the order. The implementation of SCM had been beneficial as this helped in improving the communication channels, production and services of the companies. Considering the important role of apparel manufacturers within the global chain, we conducted a research on the Bangladesh garments industry and focus on several important supply chain operational issues. The objectives are to analyze apparel supply chain matters such as new orders, raw materials supply, production processes and logistics related to finished goods delivery. We collect data for trade statistics, conducted structured interviews and send survey questionnaires to garment manufacturers. Analysis shows apparel manufacturers are striving for sustainable business growth. We identify related supply chain practices influencing the industry, set guidelines for improvement and offer recommendations for sustainability

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Impact of COVID-19 on the Textile, Apparel and Fashion Manufacturing Industry Supply Chain: Case Study on a Ready-Made Garment Manufacturing Industry

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  • Biswas MC | 0000-0003-3786-2774

Preprint from SSRN , 12 Jan 2021 https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3762220   PPR: PPR295358 

Abstract 

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PPRID: PPR295358 EMSID: EMS119589 SSRN preprint, version 1, posted 2021 March 10 https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3762220

Impact of COVID-19 on the textile, apparel and fashion manufacturing industry supply chain: Case study on a ready-made garment manufacturing industry

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  • 1. Wilson College of Textiles, USA

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This preprint is made available via the Europe PMC open access subset , for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original preprint source.

Over the past few months, the world has witnessed how COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the supply chain of the textile, apparel and fashion manufacturing (TAFM) industry in various unprecedented ways. As the global textile market is interconnected, this outbreak has a global impact due to travel restrictions and raw materials shortages. This study highlights the imminent impact of COVID-19 on the TAFM industry supply chain, focusing on root-cause analysis and statistical data on consumption of textile goods, both locally and globally. There has not been any academic research on TAFM supply chain disruption. This paper has fulfilled this research gap. Our research is a two-fold study. The first part reviews the overall impact of the pandemic on the TAFM industry and conducts a text analysis on the statements collected from business reports, academic journals, market researchers' opinions, manufacturers' statements and business journals, in order to identify the most frequently used terms associated with supply chain disruption. The second part is a case study on a ready-made garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh, which showed that the supply chain disruption due to COVID-19 would increase the production cost. This is alarming for garment manufacturers and exporters, as the worldwide apparel consumption is also projected to reduce during and after the pandemic. Lastly, this study forecasts the takeaways of the TAFM industry from this global pandemic and recommends a mathematical model to tackle any similar situation in future.

Keywords: COVID-19, supply chain, textiles and apparel industry, fashion manufacturing industry, global impact

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread exponentially across the world, creating a significant impact on social lives. The impact varies across different age and culture groups. The lockdown, stay-at-home order, social distancing and unemployment have elevated mental stress levels throughout the world. The uncertainty in returning to normal life post-COVID-19 have challenged our day-to-day existence. 1 – 4 The total number of coronavirus cases reached 4,720,196 as of 15th May, 2020 — a huge rise from 292 reported on 20th January. 5 Similar to the present pandemic, there was also long-term, simultaneous, epidemic outbreak propagation and disruption in supply, demand and logistics infrastructure during SARS, MERS, Ebola and Swine flu. 6 These pandemic outbreaks impose serious threat to supply chain management by bringing uncertainty in consumption, sales, business and overall economy. 7 – 9 Initially a health crisis, COVID-19 has now also caused crises in the global economy, trade and finance, with a projected worldwide economic impact ranging between USD$2tr and USD$4.1tr. Cascading demand, panic buying and shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), surgical masks, gloves and gowns have disrupted global supplies for healthcare essentials. The unbalanced situation in supply and distribution is prevailing in every industry due to this pandemic. 10

The coronavirus initially out broke in Wuhan area, China, immediately affecting the Chinese supply chain and then consequently disrupting the entire global supply chain. 11 The exponential increase of COVID-19 cases throughout Asia, Europe and USA has resulted in border closures and home quarantines. 12 COVID-19 has posed a serious threat to the global supply chain because of the economic slowdown. The change in commodity consumption has disrupted in supply, manufacturing, logistics and sales. Hence, it has disrupted the global supply chain by weakening and slowing down global trade. 13 – 16

The existing uncertainty and economic slowdown have also had an impact on the textile, apparel and fashion manufacturing (TAFM) industry supply chain. The fashion world has seen the largest month-to-month drop in retail sales since 1992. Although retail sales had bounced back in the USA by May 2020, levels are still way below pre-pandemic. 17 Moreover, the social distancing restrictions and other related rules imposed by the retailers limit the number of consumers who can be present in a store. Besides, consumers are now concerned about saving money for future emergencies, which has made it more difficult to predict consumers' behaviour. The TAFM industry is experiencing manufacturing plant closure, employee lay-off and significant financial loss. The financial crisis due to this pandemic may eventually lead to a social crisis. Hence, COVID-19 has imposed economic as well as social impact on each stakeholder involved in the fashion manufacturing and retailing industries. 18 – 21 Although China has restarted manufacturing on a small scale, the overall impact is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. The manufacturers and retailers do not have any expected timeframe when retail and production will revert to the normal condition. 22 Amid this unstable economic environment, manufacturing industries and retail stores will have to invest further after reopening their businesses in order to ensure additional safety and protective measures for their employees, suppliers and customers. This investment, however, cannot guarantee to result in increasing sales and profitability during or after the pandemic. 23 , 24

These radical changes can, however, introduce new supply chain models for the future. Industries should develop their own probability models that can predict how the sector-based GDP can be affected during any unexpected and unforeseen global supply chain disruption. Mathematical models will also be important tools to inform the supply chain risks. The information and statistical reports available in newspapers, business magazines and online sources have reflected the severity of this disruption. The purpose of this research is to investigate the economic impact of COVID-19 on the TAFM supply chain disruption. The first section introduces the background of the research topic, fulfilment of research gap and the research purpose. This is followed by a brief scientific explanation on COVID-19 sources and preventive measures. Next, the impact on the TAFM supply chain is described, encompassing the data reported on GDP, consumption, order, production, employment, import, export, sourcing and investment. A case study is then conducted on a Bangladesh ready-made garment (RMG) industry to show the change in direct costs, indirect costs and final product price because of supply chain disruption due to COVID-19. The final section discusses the key takeaways for the TAFM industry from COVID-19 and presents a statistical model that can help it to respond to any similar pandemics in the future.

COVID-19: Sources and Preventive Measures

The phylogenetic research on COVID-19 or 2019 novel corona virus allowed the identification of its subfamily named as Orthocoronavirinae, which belongs to the Coronaviridae family. The virus causes infections in the respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract. 25 – 28 Researchers found that the virus remains in the incubation period for about five days on average after it is exposed to the human body; infected individuals do not show any symptoms during this period. 29 , 30

Different research found that absence of preventive measures such as social distancing could directly generate an average of 2–4 new infections. Hence, it caused the infection to spread rapidly among a mass of people. The rate and number can even increase if no preventive measures are taken. This illustrates the importance of maintaining social distancing, self-quarantine and isolation to limit the spread of the virus and diminish the number of infected people eventually. 31 , 32 Manufacturers and retailers have mandated different rules for their employees and customers as part of these protective measures, such as wearing masks, washing hands with sanitisers, maintaining 2m distance, online deliveries and following check-in and checkout lanes. 33 , 34

Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak

Textile, apparel and fashion industry supply chain disruption.

The changes in aggregate demand, slowdown in global economy, manufacturing stores closure and production shutdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak have created global structural supply shocks. 35 The textile and fashion supply chain has encountered similar impacts from the pandemic. China is a critical supplier of textile inputs. Hence, when the disruptions started with China, the impact consequently extended throughout the whole global market. 36 Figure 1 shows a strong regional dimension and interconnection of the global textile supply chain. When it comes to textiles, China is known as the heart of ‘Factory Asia’, Italy represents ‘Factory Europe’ and the USA represents ‘Factory North America’. 37 This interconnection demonstrates that the recent supply chain disruption in the hearts of the regional factory representative countries will affect the worldwide textile market. The size of the boxes shown in Figure 1 represents the size of the textile and apparel market of the respective country. For instance, the size of the box for China is the largest among all other countries because of its huge textile and apparel market as well as supply chain network compared to other countries.

Figure 1

Source: Produced by authors from the WTO Research Report 38

The supply chain shock due to this pandemic has driven bullwhip effects in the fashion and RMG industry too, by forcing companies to stop production and sales. For instance, according to recent reports, Swedish fashion brand H&M announced 45 store closures in China. Other major brands such as Gap, Uniqlo, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Nike, Levi Strauss and Adidas also publicly announced closure of different stores in China. 39 These incidences will directly affect the economy of the textile and RMG export-based countries.

Wazir (2020) shows that the impact on apparel consumption has significantly affected the export of apparel and fashion items worldwide. The EU and USA are the biggest importers of apparel products. 40 Wazir's report projects the GDP of these two regions will shrink by 3–4 per cent and 5–6 per cent respectively over the next quarters of 2020. According to this report, there will be a closure of bricks-and-mortar fashion retail stores throughout the USA and Europe for the third quarter of the year. Figure 2 shows the change in apparel consumption in the USA and EU, indicating a projection of 40 per cent lower apparel consumption in USA and 50 per cent lower consumption in EU in 2020 compared to 2019 due to the fall in GDP as well as store closures. 41 The total apparel consumption in these two regions is projected to reduce by US$308bn in 2020. Since, however, US consumers are more inclined to regular purchasing and exhibit more consumerism than Europe, the USA might return to normal consumption levels faster than the EU. Nevertheless, the situation will have an impact on the overall apparel imports in EU and the USA. 42 In 2020, the expected apparel imports in these two regions will be a total of US$158bn, which is about 44 per cent lower than that of 2019. 43

Figure 2

Source: Produced by authors from Wazir 44

The apparel export-oriented industries and the backward linkage industries that depend on RMG export have also reached a pause mode. This will directly affect the GDP of the low-income developing countries, whose economy largely depends on the production and export of apparel and fashion products. 45 , 46 Due to store closures and sale downturns, Western fashion retailers have cancelled orders worth US$2.8bn from Bangladesh, which has created a humanitarian crisis scenario. 47 According to Forbes ,

‘a survey of 319 garment factory owners in Bangladesh conducted by the Center for Global Workers’ Rights between 21st and 25th March, 2020 revealed that when cancelling orders, over 72 per cent of buyers refused to pay for raw materials (fabric, etc.) already purchased by the supplier. Over 91 per cent of buyers refused to pay for the cut make-trim cost (production cost) of the supplier. As a result of order cancellations and lack of payment, 58 per cent of factories surveyed report having to shut down most or all of their operations.' 48

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development anticipates the global economic slowdown due to COVID-19 will result in a decline in sales and profitability of USD$1tr. It also predicts a decline in global foreign direct investment by 5–15 per cent. 49

Unemployment in the textile and apparel industry

The impact on clothing consumption and import will also affect the GDP and employment of top-tier apparel or RMG exporting countries of Asia such as Bangladesh, China, Vietnam and India 50 to a greater extent. Our analysis on the Asian Development Bank's dataset revealed a sharp decline in the GDP (%) and employment of these countries due to the COVID-19 outbreak, 51 which is shown in Figures 3a and 3b . These figures illustrate the impact of COVID-19 on GDP reduction and unemployment, which are crucial indicators of economic downturn due to a pandemic.

Figure 3

A: Mean decline in GDP (as % of sector GDP)

Source: Authors

B: Mean decline in employment (as % of unemployment)

The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company presented their findings on the impact of COVID-19 on the fashion industry worth USD$2.5tr. 52 The shutdown in UK retail stores may also cause millions of jobs to be lost due to this pandemic. 53 Amed et al . 54 reported staff layoffs and wage cuts due to closure of stores in the developed countries and order cancellations in garment industries in low-cost sourcing and fashion-manufacturing countries, such as Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Honduras, which will exacerbate hunger and disease in those countries. 55 According to the report, the unemployment rate increased to 5.7 per cent in February 2020 in China, which included a large proportion of manufacturing job losses. Amed et al .'s findings showed that millions of people in the fashion industry would lose their jobs due to this impact. The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) forecasts a drop of 30 per cent in apparel sales and profitability, which may cause a 10–15 per cent decline in employment in apparel manufacturing industry and manufacturing. 56 About 1.44m textile and apparel industry workers in Bangladesh might be affected by order cancellations from Western countries. 57 Thousands of factories in Bangladesh could not provide any income or even severance pay to their workers while sending them home temporarily due to order cancellations. Temporary or permanent factory closures in Albania, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Central America have also hit hard the low-waged garment workers in these countries. 58 The pandemic has caused the closure of several garment manufacturing industries in Myanmar, which may lead to tens of thousands unemployed. 59 Although the ILO predicts approximately 305m jobs might be lost due to COVID-19, 60 it should provide a breakdown of this number based on the type of industry. This will help the textile, apparel and fashion manufacturers, retailers and researchers to gain a deeper understanding of the industry-based crisis and take steps based on the essential measures.

Economic impact analysis using natural language processing technique

This paper conducted a text analysis using natural language processing technique (NLP) to explore the insights of economic impact due to COVID-19, based on the data collected from business journals, fashion blogs, market research data and online news portals. 61 – 64

Research method

After data screening and filtering of statements, data and reports (n=85), the authors have found similar terms related to economic crisis in a different order of frequency from the literature study of the global financial recession 2008–9. 65 – 71 Our approach is based on exploring the most frequently used terms in the statements and information that we collected from these sources, using R software. The conversion of statements into a corpus used ‘tm’ package in R. This text-mining process used the bag-of-words approach to convert the text into a data frame consisting of words used in the text frequencies. These are applied using document term matrix (DTM) and term document matrix (TDM). This text-mining approach is widely used to explore reviews, opinions and facts that generally describe a common phenomenon. 72 – 76

Result and discussion

The bar chart shown in Figure 4 presents the most frequent words and the dendrogram shown in Figure 5 presents the taxonomic relationships among the terms which support the authors' discussion on economic impact of COVID-19 on the TAFM industry and supply chain disruption. These text analyses depict the severity prevailing on the economy based on the statements and information collected from different sources. 77 – 81 These findings bolster the previous findings related to loss, decline in consumption, store closure and unemployment. The overall analysis depicts an inevitable depression and recession that the TAFM industry is about to face due to the pandemic, and shows the high stress level that exists in the socio-economic environment of the industry.

Figure 4

Bar chart showing the terms most frequently deployed in various business magazines, market research reports and newspapers. These terms also relate to the factors that have been discussed in this paper to describe supply chain disruption of the TAFM industry

Figure 5

Dendrogram showing the taxonomic relationship among the terms mentioned in Figure 4 and explored from the text analysis of statements sourced from business magazines, fashion blogs, market research reports and newspapers

Case Study on a Bangladesh RMG Industry

The supply chain of the RMG industry is connected to backward linkage industries such as spinning mills for yarn manufacturing, knitting or weaving mills for fabric manufacturing, coloration industry for fabric dyeing, printing and finishing. This chain is joined to forward linkage activities such as packaging, logistics, banking, port services and government support. 82 , 83 In the current research, the disruption in the textile apparel and fashion supply chain management can be attributed to changes in garment production and distribution costs due to the effects of the pandemic.

Methodology

The authors conducted a case study on a knitwear-based RMG c in Bangladesh. The company provided useful insights and information on its production and marketing details. The collected data is based on the costing of a 100 per cent cotton basic t-shirt. The company is expecting to ship the produced styles to its European brands after withdrawing lockdown, despite making no profit because of unwanted newly added inventory and logistics costs. For the purposes of this research paper, however, it has provided the current change in price of raw materials and projected associated production costs to make similar styles in the post-pandemic period. The study compared two different costing and pricing scenarios, before and after COVID-19. The calculations were completed in an ERP software platform of the respective industry. The net fabric consumption (Net Cons/Dz) required to make a dozen garment pieces in a repeat style was found using computer aided design (CAD) consumption. The free-on-board (FOB) price (transport finished garments up to seaport) was analysed to explore the change in garment price before and after COVID-19.

Results and discussion

Fob pricing before covid-19.

Table 1 shows the fabric price for a single piece (pcs) garment considering the direct cost associated with fabric manufacturing. The yarn price, knit charge and dyeing and finishing cost are based on the average price found from the company's 2019 financial report. The total price per kilogram (kg) of fabric has been derived by multiplying raw material price and processing cost with net consumption per dozen, then dividing the total price per kg fabric by 12 to obtain the fabric price per piece.

Cost is one of the key elements in the garment sector. The company's annual turnover and future survival depends on accurately determining the projected cost of making (CM). Table 2 shows the calculations for cost per minute (CPM), which is the cost of an entire factory associated with one minute of production and is greatly affected by elements such as quality, absenteeism, production delay and management support. Standard minute value (SMV) is the time required for making a garment, which indicates a company's efficiency.

Table 3 shows the rest of the important metrics that determine the FOB price of a garment piece (pcs) and a company's profit margin. Any change in the direct and indirect cost metrics forces companies to reduce their profit margin during negotiations with buyer.

The recent lockdown will have a direct impact on the increase of yarn price. Almost all the spinning industries in Bangladesh that produce yarn for export-based RMG industries import cotton fibre from India. Many of the RMG industries directly import yarn from India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia and Taiwan. The unusual price hike in cotton and different types of yarn is common in RMG export business. The authors have projected an increase in yarn price of approximately US$0.20 per kg taking into account the added cost of logistics and safety measures as well as the unstable situation due to COVID-19. This projection is based on historical information of the company's report and previous history of yarn price fluctuation in both local and international markets. 84 – 86 Table 4 shows that the knit and dyeing charge has been kept constant as per the company's speculation and projection.

The COVID-19 pandemic will force companies to invest in protective measures for their employees. This cost will be added the CPM. Availability of skilled labour force can increase the SMV for a garment piece. It has been projected that average fluctuations of these metrics based on a company's market history can increase the CPM from 1.5 to 2 times. The average change in CPM and SMV will lead to an increased CM, as shown in Table 5 .

The associated costs such as estimated changes in accessories and trimmings import and commercial cost test will also increase the final FOB price of the product. These changes will be due to import restrictions, supplier–buyer negotiation, transport cost and delay in port facilities. On the other hand, the reduced consumption in Western countries can force manufacturers to reduce profit margin to 3 per cent from 5 per cent. The company has to reduce its profit margin several times while there is a delay in shipment, increase in bank interest and recession. It has to compete with other garment suppliers to survive in the global market.

The final result shows a projected decrease in the company's profit margin and 37 per cent increase in FOB price. Retailers will attempt to maintain the pre-COVID product price to meet consumers' expectations, which will further reduce the company's profit. As a result, there will be an unstable condition in the RMG industry supply chain.

Textile and Fashion Industry Takeaways from COVID-19

There have been different opinions and analysis on reconstructing the supply chain after COVID-19 or how the textile and fashion chain will look after the pandemic. These sources suggest that industries and societies can take lessons from the surrounding failing supply chain systems and modify them after the pandemic for the betterment of consumers and society in general. 87 , 88 First, ensuring safety and security of the workforce is the priority now for manufacturers and retailers. Different manufacturing industries have promised and planned accordingly to ensure safety measures after reopening their businesses. 89 Governments, representatives of manufacturing organisations and retailers should strictly monitor that every industry complies with the preventive and safety measures taken for its employees.

Secondly, there should be careful studies and analyses of consumer behaviour during this pandemic, because it will provide a smart means for retailers to futureproof their businesses. Experts predict that this unprecedented time of stillness will give consumers not only valuable perspective regarding the priorities of various commodities in their lives, but will also bring changes in their attitude towards shopping and product types in the post-pandemic world. 90 Implementation of transparency at all phases of supply chain management, diversification of essential resources, lean supply, total cost ownership and genuineness in maintaining customer retention will help in recovering from financial crisis as well as reconstructing supply chain management. 91 According to some market researchers, however, the economic impact can pause the growing trend of sustainable business models. The supply chain will take a different direction because investors will concentrate more on economic recovery rather than spending further on sustainability. 92 Therefore, researchers and industries should work in tandem to maintain balance between reconstructing the existing supply chain and coping with the rapid changes in business. They should also focus on developing data-driven and technology-based digital supply chain to overcome unwarranted supply chain disruption.

Finally, there should be new sourcing, production and distributing strategies to restructure the supply chain system. Market researchers assumed that retailers would be more interested in reshoring and near-shoring in the post-COVID-19 period. 93 The recent initiatives taken by US textile and apparel manufacturing industries for making PPE and masks 94 may reinforce reshoring initiatives and reduce sole dependence on importing medical textiles from remote supplier countries such as China. Therefore, every country should develop a just-in-time and lean-based textile and apparel manufacturing and distribution system that can immediately support its local healthcare officials and patients with PPE, gowns, masks and other medical textile products during any future emergency.

Proposed model development to predict economic impact on the TAFM industry due to COVID-19

As other industries, the TAFM industry should also prioritise analysing the impact of the pandemic on supply chain disruption in the future. The mathematical model and statistical analysis allow us to gain a better understanding of sourcing, manufacturing and major barriers to sustainable growth during the pre- and post-pandemic period. It will benefit fashion manufacturers and retailers to measure the unexpected supply chain risks and disruptions in the future. The multivariate linear fit regression model presented here can be applied to predict the probable impact on GDP based on the fluctuation in production, consumption, unemployment, import, export and investment due to COVID-19. These factors have largely affected the GDP and contributed to the on-going economic crisis due to COVID-19 as well as during the recession of 2008–9. 95 – 98 These studies concentrated on GDP projection, economic impact forecasting, employment determinants, econometric perspective and recession have emphasised the importance of using these factors in their statistical probabilistic and auto-regressive models.

The above-mentioned factors have been combined here and applied using second order interactions to develop a complex linear fit regression model, where β 0 represents the intercept of the relationship in the model, β 1 , β 2 , …, β 21 are coefficients for independent variables and their interactions and ε is the error term. Here each of the factors may have multiple levels (high, medium, low) measuring their respective increase or decrease in multiple financial quarters. As a result, the effect will be different for different countries based on their export/import ratio.

We have defined our factors as consumption = X 1 , unemployment = X 2 , production = X 3 , import = X 4 , export = X 5 and investment = X 6 for our model development.

GDP fluctuation in TAFM industry = β 0 + β 1 X 1 + β 2 X 2 + β 3 X 3 + β 4 X 4 + β 5 X 5 + β 6 X 6 + β 7 X 1 X 2 + β 8 X 1 X 3 +β 9 X 1 X 4 +β 10 X 1 X 5 +β 11 X 1 X 6 +β 12 X 2 X 3 + β 13 X 2 X 4 +β 14 X 2 X 5 + β 15 X 2 X 6 + β 16 X 3 X 4 +β 17 X 3 X 5 + β 18 X 3 X 6 + β 19 X 4 X 5 + β 20 X 4 X 6 + β 21 X 5 X 6 + ε

Since the variables are collected in different forms or scales of measurements, they should be standardised or transformed by using the log of their values so that the coefficients can be measured in a same scale. This model can be tested further in a research paper using the data collected from the economic reports of the respective country.

The textile, apparel and fashion manufacturing industry is a major contributor to the global economy. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the supply chain system of this industry and put a brief pause on its smooth operation. This research paper explored and discussed the key points related to this disruption and also reported how it had affected the global production, import, export, GDP, employment and consumption. The case study showed that COVID-19 significantly affected the supply chain management of one RMG manufacturing industry, which resulted in significant disruption to the supply chain of the entire TAFM industry. The graphs and visuals, based on recent business reports, market overviews, journals etc., reflect the economic and social impacts currently prevailing in the TAFM industry due to COVID-19. The restructure of the TAFM supply chain systems has been urged for the betterment of manufacturing and retail industry in the near future. The authors also suggested that companies should develop a lean supply chain model convenient for producing both ready-made garments and PPE, as many countries may need to import large volumes of PPE very soon. This holistic approach will help the textile, apparel and fashion industry to rebound after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Author Information

Author emails: Samit Chakraborty, ude.uscn@22rkahcs ; Manik Chandra Biswas, ude.uscn@2sawsibm

Samit Chakraborty is a PhD fellow and working as research assistant at Wilson College of Textiles. His research is based on implementing innovative technologies and ensuring sustainable supply chain management in the textile manufacturing and fashion retailing industry. He completed his Master's at the University of Manchester, UK and Bachelor's at Bangladesh University of Textiles. He has over five years' working experience as a production merchandiser and product developer in the apparel manufacturing industry, where he developed products for European brands such as C&A and Tom Tailor. With this diverse industrial experience, he joined Daffodil International University, Bangladesh as a lecturer to continue his research and pursue a career in academia. He has published articles on consumer behaviour and sustainable supply chain in various international journals.

Textile Technology Management, Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA

Manik Chandra Biswas is a doctoral fellow, recipient of North Carolina Textile Foundation (NCTF) Fellowship, and a polymer and materials engineer with more than ten years' research and industrial experience seeking to innovate real-world textile and polymeric products and guide innovations in green chemistry as well as their adoption by industry. His graduate research (at Master's and doctoral levels) focuses on innovations in the conversion of biomass waste into value-added materials and substitution of petroleum-based additives with biomass derivatives for the strengthening of plastics and regenerated fibres from natural resources. Overall, this research will improve the sustainability of the textile industry by introducing overlap between the circular economies of both the textile and agricultural industries. At graduate level, since 2015, he has supported work in five industry-sponsored projects (all related to green chemistry), filed one US patent application, drafted another patent disclosure and published 12 peer-reviewed journal articles and five book chapters on the use of biomass derivatives towards manmade fibre production and polymer nanocomposites towards sustainability.

Fiber and Polymer Science, Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA

Author's Note

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. The authors declare no competing financial interest.

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  • Posted March 10, 2021.

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Textile Learner

Supply Chain of Textile Industry – An Overview

Last Updated on 28/11/2023

Introduction: Generally, a supply chain is a network of facilities that procure raw materials, transform them into intermediate goods and then final products and deliver the products to customers through a distribution system. Supply chain of textile industry is long and complicated; hence the implementation of sustainable practices along the entire chain is challenging. A short review on supply chain of textile industry is presented here, starting with fiber production and its variety depending on raw material, followed by textile processing and technologies in yarn and fabric production, further finishing processing and technology, then manufacturing and merchandising , and finally consumption, use and disposal.

supply chain of textile industry

Unlike value-added chains for food or building materials, textiles and apparel include a great number of process stages, carried out by different successive industry units. Along with the material flow, the value-added chain is modeled in the steps of fiber production, spinning, weaving/knitting, finishing, cutting and sewing, merchandising, wholesale/retail, consumption, and disposal/recycling.

Natural fibers Today an ever-increasing variety of fiber material is applied in the production of textile fabrics. The main categories are natural fibers , gained either from plants that were once wild but are now grown in agriculture, or from domestic animals, often as a by-product of keeping them for food. Natural fibers can be harvested from plants or animals. Except for silk, all are staple fibers (see the figure-1).

Classification of natural fibers

Natural fibers are gained from plants as lint or bast fibers (cotton, ramie , hemp) or from animals as hair (wool, cashmere, alpaca) or as filaments from silk. ‘Man-made fibers may have a natural cellulose base (viscose, cupro) or protein base from plants or animals (polylactate), or they are derivatives of crude oil fractions (polyester, polyamide, polypropylene , polyurethane).

world production of textile fibers

Man made fibers and filament and yarns Man made fibers are divided into fibers based on crude oil fractions (synthetic fibers) and fibers based on regenerated cellulose (cellulosic fibers). Figure C gives an overview on the different fiber types. For a few decades, use of synthetic fibers increased only slowly due to some properties making them inferior to cellulosic fibers for apparel production. Today the most prominent fibers for apparel are polyester (PES), followed by polyamide (PA), cellulosic fibers (CV), acrylic (PAN) and others including polypropylene, elastic fibers, polyvinylchloride, polyvinylacetate, etc.

classification of man-made fibers

Energy All textile processes require a considerable amount of energy, from fiber production up to finishing. Energy is a natural resource, renewable or non-renewable, which can be converted into other forms according to the thermodynamics. Prime renewable energy sources are hydropower, wind power and solar power, generally used for electricity production, as well as wood pellets and other plants which are used in combustion. Non-renewable energy resources are crude oils, gas, brown coal, etc., prime sources that were formed on the planet over millions of years. Nuclear power takes a special position as its by-product, the hazardous nuclear waste, requires tremendous time periods to degrade. Conversion from one form of energy to another is more or less efficient, depending on the energy value, the losses by transformation to energy forms (e.g. heat) which cannot be utilized in the system.

The textile supply chain and textile products require energy (in various forms such as electricity, hot oil and steam) for the following:

  • To operate various machines involved in textile manufacturing;
  • To transport between various processes;
  • To produce raw materials, accessories, chemicals and other necessary elements;
  • To raise the temperature of water baths employed in dyeing and other wet processing operations;
  • To operate heating and cooling systems;
  • To operate lighting, humidification plants and office equipment.

Textile Production: Textile manufacturing process includes fiber production, yarn spinning, fabric manufacturing, textile wet processing , final products distribution (retailing, marketing and merchandising), and disposal. Among different components of the textile supply chain, wet processing is a step that involves the use of large amounts of energy, chemicals, and water. Therefore, advocates in the wet processing part of the industry are seeking solutions to achieve sustainable production methods in daily operations. Textile wet processing is the collective term for the processes used to improve textiles in terms of the aforementioned properties. The most common way to examine textile wet processing is to split it into the following three stages:

  • Pretreatment or preparation
  • Coloration (dyeing and printing)

Yarn production Spinning processing is different for staple fibers and filaments. A staple fiber yarn is produced by twisting, entangling and embedding a certain number of fibers in order to get a longitudinal construction of a defined fineness, strength, elasticity and structure. Staple fibers are gained from all-natural fibers (except silk) and from man-made filaments that are cut in staple.

Several technologies have been developed for staple spinning and filament spinning. The spinning technology sets the shape of the yarn body, which can be further influenced by individual yarn construction. The desired quality is defined in yarn quality parameters for suitable communication with fabric production.

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Fabric production Fabrics are produced as a two-dimensional arrangement of yarns or fibers. In woven fabrics two yarns are oriented at right-angles, while knitted fabrics are formed with yarn loops with an orientation in all directions. Non-woven fabrics are produced with unoriented fibers.

Woven fabrics In weaving processes a two-dimensional fabric is produced, consisting of length-oriented yarns (warp) and cross-oriented yarns (weft or filling). The process is divided into three main sections: weaving preparation , weaving and fabric control, each consisting of different sub-processes.

Knitting and warp knitting In machine knitting the traditional hand-knitting needles, holding all knits of a fabric, are replaced by individual needles for each loop.

Nonwovens Nonwoven fabrics represent an increasing market in textile applications, e.g. for disposable wipes and baby diapers. The production can be described as follows. A web of natural and/or man-made fibers is prepared on a flat surface, whereby the individual fibers are oriented in all directions. Different bonding technologies and processes are applied such as:

  • Creating physical tangles or tufts among fibers by stitching needles in place
  • Application of adhesives
  • Thermal fusing of fibers or filaments to each other by fusible fibers or powders
  • Fusing the fibers by dissolving their surfaces.

Chemical treatment Chemical treatment is by far the most diversified process in the value-added chain of textiles. Typically, it is divided into three sections: pre-treatment, dyeing and finishing, of which the dyeing process traditionally is the most important. Dyeing plants are specialized in specific raw material processed as either yarn, fabric or apparel finishing. According to their specialization they have specific equipment for processing and they apply specific chemicals. The finishing processes make large contributions to waste water, energy consumption and also airborne emissions.

Manufacturing In apparel design a three-dimensional product is constructed by assembling different flat pieces of fabric. Fashion creates ideas about shapes and styles that could be implemented, whereby the shape does not necessarily follow the body line. If the fabric for a designed apparel is chosen, the style, cut and three-dimensional shaping is constructed by means of a sewing pattern. For every model a list of all accessories (thread, lining, stiffening material, zippers, buttons, snaps, lining pads, fixing parts, etc.) is compiled and detailed instructions for the step-by-step sewing are generated, including specifications about stitches and other machinery settings. The more complex and sophisticated these instructions are, the more expensive the apparel becomes.

In the grading process, designed with computer software, a prototype pattern is transferred into different sizes by adjusting the individual parts in appropriate dimensions. Human body size, however, shows a large variation: the differences are often not proportional, and many genetic and cultural specialties exist. The procedure is far from being standardized.

This makes the fit of apparel so difficult. After the sized patterns are constructed, they are arranged on the fabric in such a way as to produce a minimum of waste. Fabrics with pattern require additional adjustment for the parts to be cut for matching of the parts in the final apparel. Some hairy fabrics, like velvet or ‘Manchester’, etc., show a prominent up–down orientation in the brush, or other structures influencing the light reflectance, which requires a consequent orientation of the pattern parts according to the fabric orientation. Marks are applied with the cutting auxiliary for assembling the different parts of an apparel.

Together with the cut parts for a piece, accessory material is assembled for further processing. On various sewing stations the apparel is produced according to sewing instructions, step by step. For correct assembly, the auxiliary marks of the pieces have to be arranged before the pieces are sewn. Some of the sewing stations carry out very simple processes, while other stations are highly specialized for specific processes like fixing a zipper, inserting pockets, sewing buttonholes, etc. The manufacture of men’s jackets may follow the most complex guidelines, while sewing a knitted T-shirt is an easy assembly with not more than 10 individual steps.

Manufacturing is the most labor-intensive stage in the production of apparel and therefore one of the most costly parts in the value-added chain. Many companies seek production sites in countries where employees work for low salaries but have good working skills. Worldwide, sewing is carried out mainly by women on traditionally lower salaries than men’s.

Consumption, use and care Consumption, use and care patterns are different for individual cultures. Consumption of apparel has far exceeded basic needs in industrialized countries. Consumers are buying apparel no longer only for thermal protection, but for identification with a unique style to underline their individualism. Apparel is not used until its ‘technical’ end of life is achieved, but thrown away when the consumer wants new apparel, driven by the fashion market. This lifetime duration is defined as the ‘economic’ lifetime compared to the technical lifetime, which generally is significantly longer than the economic lifetime.

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Care is the action in use that produces environmental impacts. It based on consumer preferences for care properties, combined with the laundry processes for apparel.

Disposal, reuse and recycling scenarios This section defines some strategic considerations. A representative case study on textile recycling systems will be presented and the results of two case studies will be given on material flow – for polyester and polyamide, both carried out in Switzerland. The circular economy is considered as the legs of sustainability since it influences the entire process of supply chain in textile industry. The circular economy is governed by 3Rs, namely Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, which are the major strategies for eco-friendly processing of textile/apparel products.

Conclusion: Suppliers are viewed as critical resources for the textile/apparel retailers. They have to be managed to derive the maximum potential in the supply chain in textile industry, and the selection of the supplier is the most critical task in the supply management.

References:

  • Handbook of Sustainable Textile Production by Marion I. Tobler-Rohr
  • Sustainable Apparel: Production, Processing and Recycling Edited by: Richard Blackburn
  • Sustainable Fibres and Textiles by Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu
  • Assessing the Environmental Impact of Textiles and the Clothing Supply Chain by Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu
  • Circular Economy in Textiles and Apparel: Processing, Manufacturing, and Design by Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu
  • Greening the Supply Chain of the Textile Industry in Bangladesh – Bangladesh Textile Today
  • Textile and apparel supply chains for the 21st century
  • http://www.isahp.org/2007Proceedings/Papers/Working%20Sessions/Suppliers%20Selection/Supply%20Chain%20Management%20In%20The%20Textile%20Industry.pdf

You may also like:

  • Flow Chart of Textile Engineering
  • Textile Manufacturing Process | Process Flow Chart of Textile Manufacturing
  • What is Textile? | Basic Textiles | Flow Chart of Textile Processing | Uses of Textiles
  • Process Sequence of Garment Manufacturing

Mazharul Islam Kiron

Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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  1. Supply chain management of textile industry: A case study on Bangladesh

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    Mgt Vol. 1, No. 2, September 2012 Supply Chain Management of Textile Industry: A Case Study on Bangladesh Mohammad Ali¹, Dr. Md Mamun Habib² Department of Operations Management, Faculty of Business Administration American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB) 83/B, Road 4, Kemal Ataturk Avenue, Banani, Dhaka, Bangladesh 1 mohamammad.ali ...

  3. Supply Chain Management of Textile Industry: A Case Study on Bangladesh

    This study addresses a descriptive study on the current scenario of Textile industry in Bangladesh. This paper demonstrates above mentioned scenario in terms of supply chain management (SCM). The textile industry, an important segment in Bangladesh's manufacturing industry, play a critical role in its economic development. The textile sector fulfils almost cent percent domestic demand apart ...

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    This paper demonstrates above mentioned scenario in terms of supply chain management (SCM). The textile industry, an important segment in Bangladesh's manufacturing industry, play a critical role ...

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    The textile industry is a complex supply chain that manufactures garments, complements, raw materials, and other items. As a traditional management tool, SCM enables manufacturers to work toward increasing the quality of their products, lowering the cost of their products and services, and speeding up product delivery and reaction times in a ...

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    — This study addresses a descriptive study on the current scenario of Textile industry in Bangladesh. This paper demonstrates above mentioned scenario in terms of supply chain management (SCM). The textile industry, an important segment in Bangladesh's manufacturing industry, play a critical role in its economic development.

  7. Supply Chain Management of Textile Industry: A Case Study on Bangladesh

    35 Int. J Sup. Chain. Mgt Vol. 1, No. 2, September 2012 Supply Chain Management of Textile Industry: A Case Study on Bangladesh Mohammad Ali¹, Dr. Md Mamun Habib² Department of Operations Management, Faculty of Business Administration American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB) 83/B, Road 4, Kemal Ataturk Avenue, Banani, Dhaka, Bangladesh 1 [email protected] 2 mamunhabib@aiub ...

  8. PDF A study on current perspective of Supply Chain Management of Textile

    Chain in Clthing Industry [8]. 2.2 Supply Chain Management of Textile & Clothing Industry of Bangladesh The textile industry has played an important role in Bangladesh's economy for a long time. Currently, the textile industry in Bangladesh accounts for 45 percent of all indus-trial employment and contributes 5 percent to the total na-

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    [email protected] [email protected]. Abstract— This study addresses a descriptive study on the current scenario of Textile industry in Bangladesh. This paper demonstrates above ...

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    Keywords: Covid-19, Supply Chain, Behavioral decision theory, textile industry. Abstract f Supply chain disruptions due to Covid-19 on strategies of textile industries: Case Study on Bangladesh Textile industry Supervisor: Simon Okwir Subject reader: Simon Okwir Examiner: Michal Zawadzki SAMINT-MILI-22051 Printed by: Uppsala University

  11. Supply Chain Management of Textile Industry: A Case Study on Bangladesh

    This study addresses a descriptive study on the current scenario of Textile industry in Bangladesh. This paper demonstrates above mentioned scenario in terms of supply chain management (SCM). The textile industry, an important segment in Bangladesh's manufacturing industry, play a critical role in its economic development.

  12. Exploitation in Bangladeshi ready-made garments supply chain: a case of

    The authors use a contextualized case study of the RMG supply chain in Bangladesh using a critical realist approach. Although the use of contextualized case study has enabled better understanding of causal relationships between management practices and exploitation in the local context of Bangladesh, a quantitative approach to establish ...

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    Bangladesh's foreign demand for clothes and apparel, the textile industry provides for about 100% of the country's internal demand. The textile industry is a complex supply chain that manufactures ...

  15. Supply Chain Management on Apparel Order Process: A Case Study In

    www.ajbms.org Asian Journal of Business and Management Sciences ISSN: 2047-2528 Vol. 2 No. 8 [60-72] Supply Chain Management on Apparel Order Process: A Case Study In Bangladesh Garment Industry Mohammad Safiqul Islam PhD Candidate Glorious Sun School of Business and Management Donghua University, Shanghai, China E-mail: [email protected] Mr. Gu Qing Liang Supervisor E-mail: [email protected] ...

  16. Supply Chain Management of Textile Industry: A Case Study on Bangladesh

    This study addresses a descriptive study on the current scenario of Textile industry in Bangladesh. This paper demonstrates above mentioned scenario in terms of supply chain management (SCM). The textile industry, an important segment in Bangladesh's manufacturing industry, play a critical role in its economic development.

  17. (PDF) A Study on Current Perspective of Supply Chain Management of

    A Study on Current Perspective of Supply Chain Management of Textile & Clothing Industry of Bangladesh in relevant to Future Demand September 2017 International Journal of Scientific and ...

  18. Impact of COVID-19 on the textile, apparel and fashion manufacturing

    SAMIT CHAKRABORTY. Doctoral Fellow, Wilson College of Textiles, USA. Samit Chakraborty is a PhD fellow and working as research assistant at Wilson College of Textiles. His research is based on implementing innovative technologies and ensuring sustainable supply chain management in the textile manufacturing and fashion retailing industry.

  19. Supply Chain Management in Readymade Garments Industry, Bangladesh

    The export-oriented readymade garment (RMG) industry has some distinctive features, which differentiate it from other businesses. Wage, Supply chain, Time-frame, and Compliances are among the most important features of this business. Each of four features is interrelated and interdependent. Among the features, effective Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the core. Whatever the wage level or lead ...

  20. Impact of COVID-19 on the Textile, Apparel and Fashion Manufacturing

    Case Study on a Bangladesh RMG Industry. The supply chain of the RMG industry is connected to backward linkage industries such as spinning mills for yarn manufacturing, knitting or weaving mills for fabric manufacturing, coloration industry for fabric dyeing, printing and finishing.

  21. Impact of Supply Chain Management (SCM) in Bangladesh Textile-Clothing

    Rahman and Raju (2022) revealed that the textileclothing industry of Bangladesh was doing quite well in terms of supply side, but the demand side has to be improved based on method supply chain ...

  22. Supply Chain of Textile Industry

    A representative case study on textile recycling systems will be presented and the results of two case studies will be given on material flow - for polyester and polyamide, both carried out in Switzerland. The circular economy is considered as the legs of sustainability since it influences the entire process of supply chain in textile ...