Serai: Moving the needle – Threading a Sustainable Future for Apparel

Majority of apparel firms plan to increase supply chain transparency by 2027 but obstacles remain, global survey finds

Sustainability and transparency within the apparel industry have come under the spotlight in recent years due to rising external pressure from consumers and governments, according to a joint survey by Serai and KPMG. The survey finds two-thirds (66%) of apparel industry insiders see supply chain transparency as an “extremely important” issue and 80% aim to implement transparency solutions by 2027. However, less than 20% of the respondents currently have a comprehensive overview of all stakeholders in their supply chain (visibility) and just 15% are able to fully trace all the materials and components used in a product from their origins through each step of processing and manufacturing (traceability).

Moving the needle – Threading a sustainable future for apparel is an in-depth study into how the apparel industry is responding to calls for adoption of sustainable practices. The study draws on the findings of a global survey of over 200 senior executives in the apparel industry conducted in August 2021. 


Supply chain transparency is a cornerstone of the apparel industry’s efforts to become more sustainable. 

According to the report, three key factors are fuelling the need to uphold transparency.

Corporate reputation: About 52% of suppliers and 59% of retailers/brands considered enhancing their corporate reputation as the main reason to boost their supply chain transparency.

Business opportunities: Now more than ever, suppliers are motivated to improve supply chain transparency as part of their business goals, as this may allow them to tap into business opportunities with brands and retailers that are positioning themselves as sustainable or complying with stricter regulations.

Profitability: Companies are looking to improve operational excellence to lower costs and preserve margins. Research indicates businesses with higher sustainability scores have a lower cost of capital. A sustainable apparel business can expect to have an average uplift in their net profit margin of 1-1.5% for brands and by 1.5-2.5% for suppliers.

Currently, the capacity of the apparel industry to ensure supply chain transparency remains low.


Vivek Ramachandran, Chief Executive Officer, Serai, says: “COP26 has reinforced the need for companies to find ways to reduce the environmental impact of their manufacturing. This can only be done through full visibility into their extended supply chains. Thankfully, the technology to help already exists. At Serai, we’ve built a plug-and-play platform that integrates with existing solutions. This means rollout is much quicker, the cost of adoption is much lower and more importantly, it provides a scalable platform that can easily be expanded across use cases to grow alongside the business.” The report finds that investment in transparency tools will be crucial for apparel companies if they do not want to risk losing a competitive advantage.



To download the report, visit here. We hope that this report provides you with valuable insights and we welcome the opportunity to discuss these findings further, reach out to if you are interested in an exclusive briefing session.