The Circular Economy, More Practically Speaking

The Circular Economy, More Practically Speaking In my last two updates, we’ve talked about the circular economy, a “green revolution” that’s beginning to take hold among retailers, brands, manufacturers and consumers. So far, we’ve defined what the circular economy is, and we’ve discovered why it’s time to take it seriously. But now, we’re going to turn our attention to more pragmatic matters. First, we’ll look at what retailers, brands and manufacturers are currently doing to […]

The Circular Economy: Why Now?

The Circular Economy: Why Now? In our last discussion, we talked about a comprehensive approach to sustainability called the circular economy. The circular economy takes the idea of “reduce, reuse and recycle” to a whole new level, one in which manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and customers aim to create a zero-waste supply chain. This nifty diagram from the Carlsberg Foundation illustrates the differences between the linear economy (“take, make, use and waste”) and the restorative, multi-faceted […]

The Circular Economy: What’s Old is New Again and Again

The Circular Economy: What’s Old is New Again and Again The evolution of retail is a study in contrasts. Wal-Mart has been making upscale moves, Whole Foods is looking to leave behind the “Whole Paycheck” moniker and democratize organic foods for the masses, and the fast fashion industry, called out for its damaging impact to the environment, is tackling new green initiatives. But fashion isn’t the only industry looking to make genuine improvements in its […]

How You Can Seize the Future

How You Can Seize the Future In my last four articles, we’ve taken a look at the key trends shaping the future of retail, and therefore, sourcing. We’ve seen how customers are now expecting more personalization, more speed, and more transparency in their retail experience, mostly due to the rise of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) companies that use data to power the business. We’ve also discovered how these same trends are driving innovation in sourcing, from new […]

Just-in-Time Manufacturing

Just-in-Time Manufacturing What’s one of the most exciting trends in sourcing? Well, for me, it’s how some companies are using just-in-time manufacturing to produce their goods and usher in a new era of inventory management. Let’s see what’s happening. Wanted: Inventory Management for the Digital Age Take a look at last quarter’s earnings calls, and you’ll feel like you’re reading the retail version of A Tale of Two Cities. For some retailers, it was the […]