The pandemic has seen an acceleration in digitization—not just when it comes to how shoppers transact, but how brands do business behind the scenes.
Unable to meet with suppliers or oversee operations in person, product teams have transitioned those functions to tech-based platforms. And amid continued Covid-related challenges, Fashinza, a global apparel manufacturing platform serving brands and fashion firms like Forever 21, Hummel and Reliance, has identified an opportunity for growth.
The India-based firm, which operates across 10 countries serving labels from North America, Europe and the Middle East, is planting a stake in U.S. soil. Fashinza is making the move to expand its services to New York in partnership with a few leading brands that have experienced supply-chain turmoil throughout the long months of the pandemic, it said.
The Covid crisis exposed the industry’s longstanding structural issues, it added, highlighting problems like long lead times and massive minimum order quantities that have led to inventory misalignment and tremendous amounts of waste. The fashion sector has also shirked modernization for decades, relying largely on spreadsheets and emails to manage its orders and facilitate relationships with suppliers, it added. “The mammoth coordination effort without technology results in delayed deliveries and long turnaround times,” Fashinza said.
The company’s team espouses a strategy of tech-led intervention to combat these pain points. According to Fashinza, its platform allows companies to become more transparent, efficient and sustainable through automated processes and easy tracking. An AI-regulated dashboard provides updates from factory floors in real time, it said, eliminating the need for time-sucking calls and emails regarding product status updates. The platform also helps fashion brands reduce waste and avoid inventory forecasting errors while allowing for a quick replenishment of bestselling items.
With financial backing from Accel Partners and Elevation Capital, the company hopes its New York presence will capture the interest of more American brands and domestic suppliers, co-founders Pawan Gupta and Abhishek Sharma said. “For fashion brands, outsourcing overseas comes with a whole lot of challenges—from finding an ethical supplier to implementing quality checks, the pain points are numerous,” Gupta added.
Fashinza’s policy of “complete ownership” of the supply chain solves this problem for brands, he added, “since we take care of the entire production process from designing to delivery.”
That degree of control can also give brands peace of mind when it comes to the health and fair treatment of their suppliers’ workforces, Gupta said. “We have all seen cases where clothes were being manufactured under dangerous conditions and the brands were oblivious to it,” he said. “This is not just a risk for the concerned brand’s reputation but is also a humanitarian crisis.”
“By making ethical working conditions a mandate for all our partner factories, we ensure our associate brands never have to worry about these problems,” Gupta added.