Dear PFI community,
2020 was a difficult year for us all. We faced a plethora of obstacles and challenges in both our personal and professional lives. The economy has been hit gravely, not only across the fashion industry, but in all others.
Despite this, we have been resilient and have seized opportunities wherever possible. Recently, PFI Fareast absorbed PFI Hong Kong; now known as PFI Fareast (Hong Kong). Overtime, the resulting synergies from the merger will allow us to thrive in the complex environment in which we currently operate.
Looking ahead to 2021, there are many opportunities to take advantage of. No doubt, the road ahead is still long and arduous. However, progress is slowly being made, and we will eventually come of out this strong, supporting our clients as we progress.
“When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters — one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” John F. Kennedy
We wish you a successful and happy new year.
Mrs. Candice Wang and Dr. Gerhard Nickolaus
Managing Director of PFI Fareast
Upcoming events: Lieferkettengesetz conferences in 3 languages
The Lieferkettengesetz conference hosted by HDS/L and conducted in German will take place on Thursday 21st January, followed by an English and Chinese language version of the event organized by PFI Fareast in the following months.
PFI’s sustainability team offers accessible solutions to upcycling
PFI’s sustainability team launches accessible solutions to assist companies in upcycling materials into final products.
Global Supply Chain News
How can the fashion industry rebound from Covid-19?
In the past year, the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc for the fashion industry. Regarding the Forbes article, “2020 Was The Year Fashion Almost Died. Here’s How To Bring It Back To Life In 2021”, the industry experienced the most drastic decline in retail sales by the end of 2020.
The article also mentioned the transformative trends pinpointed in “The State of Fashion” report by McKinsey and Company and The Business of Fashion. Trends mentioned are; “diminished demand”; “less is more”; “opportunistic investment”; and “retail return-on-investment”. The article also highlights six ways stated in the book, Why Fashion Brands Die and How to Save Them to bring fashion brands back to life – they include; the need for brands to focus on their best customers, and integrating sustainability as a priority.
Undoubtedly, the recovery will be challenging for every fashion brand in the industry. It demands hard work, patience, and time. PFI will work hand in hand with all stakeholders in the supply chain, providing professional advice from our experts, optimizing your supply chain to reduce costs and helping to ensure compliance with social and environmental standards. Talk to PFI’s experts now to kickstart your recovery journey.
It’s time to face our plastic problem: microplastics are now found in the placentas of pregnant women
In a recent study issued in the Environment International journal, scientists have discovered microplastic particles in the placenta that support foetal growth. Although the health impacts remain unknown at this stage, researchers mentioned that there is a possibility for microplastic particles to carry harmful chemicals that could negatively affect unborn babies’ growing immune system.
According to The Guardian’s article, “Microplastics revealed in the placentas of unborn babies”, “the potential effects of microplastics on foetuses include reduced foetal growth…particles were not found in placentas from two other women in the study, which may be the result of different physiology, diet or lifestyle, the scientists said.”
Chances are mothers ingested or breathed in microplastic particles. Clearly, plastic pollution not only destroys the environment, but it also poses threats to our future generations.
Join forces with PFI Fareast (Hong Kong) now to reduce the amount of plastic in fashion supply chains by manufacturing products with recycled materials. PFI offers accredited product certifications: Recycled Material Certification (RMC) and Recycled Material Certification Blue (RMC Blue) to trace the recycled content of products from source to finish. Additionally, with more research reveals the negative impacts brought by plastic pollutions, consumers surely heightened their awareness when choosing products that are certified as sustainable or environmentally friendly. PFI provides a QR code on the hangtags or product packaging of each certified product, enabling consumers to verify the percentage of recycled material their product contains.
Garment workers suffer the most during the pandemic
While global economies are downturn due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the fashion industry has been hit hard as end-consumers have spent less. The shock of the pandemic on fashion supply chains lead to some brands requesting lower prices, cancelling orders, and missing payments, causing low-wage workers in the fashion supply chain to endure harsh repercussions.
As stated in the “Garment workers are starving” article, a survey called “Hunger in the Apparel Supply Chain: Survey findings on workers’ access to nutrition”, conducted by Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) during Covid-19 with respondents from producer countries like Myanmar and Bangladesh has shown that “since the pandemic began, 77% of the respondents said they or a member of their household had gone hungry, and 20% said they had experienced hunger on a daily basis. Many reported having to buy less meat and vegetables, reducing the nutritional quality of their meals as well.” It is in brands’ best interests to ensure compliance to international standards to avoid reputational damage.
PFI offers social audit services that keep track of factory social compliance performance. Assisting brands in their efforts to source from trustworthy ethical suppliers. Our highly experienced experts verify and improve the social performance of factories according to PFI standards or designated code of conduct. Check out the PFI’s social audit services now and see how we can help you.
Avoiding Blind Spots: Promoting circular & fair business models, Circle Economy, European Environmental Bureau, and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office. “This research provides clarity into some of the potentially harmful side effects of the linear value chain and business models which are unaddressed or underexplored when promoting circular business models.” https://assets.website-files.com/5d26d80e8836af2d12ed1269/5fc4d55d42ec471380dfb8e6_20201130%20-%20EEB%20-%20report%20web-%20297x210mm.pdf
Global Wage Report 2020-21: Wages and minimum wages in the time of COVID-19, ILO. “This year’s ILO Global Wage Report – the seventh in the series – presents the emerging empirical evidence of the effects of the crisis on wages. Part I of the report documents a downward trend in the level and/or growth rate of average wages in two thirds of the countries for which data from 2020 were available. Part II of the Global Wage Report follows up on the ILO Centenary Declaration’s call for ‘an adequate minimum wage, statutory or negotiated’. Part III of the Global Wage Report suggests a number of policy measures that can help implement minimum wages effectively.” https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/—publ/documents/publication/wcms_762534.pdf
“I Can Hardly Sustain My Family”: Understanding the Human Cost of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Workers in the Supply Chain, BSR. “This report presents findings on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers, in the areas of physical and mental health, finances, and gender-based violence. It provides recommendations for companies and other stakeholders to act in the face of this crisis.” https://www.bsr.org/reports/BSR-HERproject-Human-Cost-Pandemic-Report.pdf