by Fashinnovator, Jacqueline M. Jenkins, acting executive director of Strategic Planning and Innovation at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
When we think about sustainability in the $2.4 trillion global fashion sector, one might consider it a true uphill battle. However, the generation of fashion leaders entering today’s job market are bringing values
and interests that align with the needs to transform the global fashion supply chain. Due to the
increasingly complex nature of global sourcing, production, and distribution, fashion supply chain
management is poised to benefit from the tech and social media savviness of today’s young professionals.
Additionally, the socially conscious mindset of those entering the workforce brings innovative solutions
to problems and opportunities due to the evolution of a digitally focused retailing environment.
An area of opportunities that new entrants to the fashion supply chain might consider is work within the advanced textiles field. There is a need for materials scientists and designers to develop fabrics of the future that possess aesthetically pleasing, environmentally-friendly characteristics such as being biodegradable and self-repairing. From a anufacturing perspective, the concept of reshoring, the movement of production back to the market of origin, is causing a rise in the need for engineering talent capable of supporting robotic production in local markets. For business management students, the use of artificial intelligence is a compliance game-changer that is enabling companies to apply analytics to support the monitoring of production practices throughout their entire supply chain.
While the fashion supply continues to grow in complexity, there will be an ongoing need for talent
focused on sustainability. To learn more about the various opportunities within this field, I would recommend that students research companies that promote their commitment to sustainable business
practices. Check the job boards and news of these businesses to see where there might be future
opportunities. Secondly, I would continue to follow the trends that are supporting the sustainable fashion
movement. This insight will help those seeking employment to identify areas of future job growth. Most
importantly, I encourage students to continue to maintain their passion for creating social impact by
pursuing a career that leverages their talent while also fulfilling their personal values.