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Fashion and the Global Supply Chain

Contextualise the global fashion industry and learn how to improve business processes across the fashion supply chain.

A man working on some textiles with clothes hanging beside him.

Explore business strategies and decision-making in the fashion industry

The processes involved in fashion manufacturing are complex and wide-ranging on a global scale.

This four-week course will introduce you to supply chains and their applications in the fashion industry.

Design and implement missions, objectives and business strategies across your fashion brand

Supply chain accountability has become increasingly important for fashion businesses to demonstrate.

On this course, you’ll learn to create clear mission statements and objectives, and develop a value chain that aligns with your brand goals. You’ll explore the global textiles industry and the role of consumer behavior and fashion media within the structure of fashion retailing.

Using case studies, you’ll examine real-life brand strategies that address competition and improve organizational structures. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement within your own business.

Develop a sustainable supply chain for your fashion business

Consumers now class sustainability as a key factor when choosing a fashion brand.

You’ll learn techniques to improve sustainability in supply chains and create ethically accountable business processes.

Improve logistics and supply chain management across your brand

Fashion supply chains can improve sustainability, as well as efficiency, by responsibly managing sourcing decisions.

You’ll learn how to create sourcing criteria, covering everything from manufacturing costs to completing factory audits.

With these skills, you’ll be able to create a cost-effective, efficient chain of processes to manufacture your goods.

By the end of this course, you’ll understand global fashion supply chain processes. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to adapt current structures to improve efficiency and increase sustainability within your brand.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    The global fashion industry

    • Course welcome

      In this activity, you will be introduced to the content that will be covered during this course. You will also get an overview of the topics covered during the first week of this course.

    • Processes across the fashion supply chain: Design, manufacturing, merchandising and marketing

      First up we explore what is design, merchandising, manufacturing and marketing before we look at fiber processing and yarn spinning. By the end of this activity, you should have a better understanding of today's textile industry.

    • Ready-to-wear fashion industry

      Next up we have a look into the ready-to-wear fashion industry. Most of the apparel and accessories produced, marketed, and sold worldwide are is completely made and ready to be worn at the time of purchase.

    • Fashion retailing and consumer behavior

      We have now come to a new activity called fashion retailing and consumer behavior in which we discuss what retailers are and develop an understanding of consumer behavior.

    • Support industries: Media and trade associations

      In this activity, we look at the number of industries that are integrally connected with the fashion supply chain and have evolved in parallel with the sectors of the fashion supply chain, such as consumer and trade publications.

    • Week wrap up

      In this activity, you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge of the topics covered during the week. You will also be provided with a summary of the week's learning, and some insight on what to expect in the new week.

  • Week 2

    Missions, objectives, and competitive strategies of fashion businesses

    • Weekly welcome

      Moving into the second week of this course, this activity will give you an overview of the topics that will be covered during this week.

    • Missions of companies in the fashion industry

      In this activity we look at how the mission statement of a fashion brand company is a brief description of the company’s fundamental purpose for its customers and society.

    • Goals and objectives of companies in the fashion industry

      This activity has a look at the business goals, business objectives, and social objectives of companies in the fashion industry.

    • Forms of competition in the fashion industry

      In this activity, we look at how the business goal of every company in the fashion industry is to earn a profit by providing products and/or services that are desired by the ultimate consumer.

    • Brand strategies in the fashion industry

      In this activity we look at all things brand-related, from the creation, the price zones, and their respective classifications.

    • Organizational structure of fashion companies

      This activity will focus on the life cycle of a product, from the research to design and development, marketing, sale, and advertising.

    • Week wrap up

      In this activity, you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge of the topics covered during the week. You will also be provided with a summary of the week's learning, and some insight on what to expect in the new week.

  • Week 3

    Sustainable supply chains in the fashion industry

    • Weekly welcome

      Moving into the third week of this course, this activity will give you an overview of the topics that will be covered during this week.

    • Supply chain strategies in the fashion industry

      In this activity, we look at supply chain strategies in the fashion industry, starting with vertical integration and then moving to full-package contract manufacturing, and multichannel and omnichannel retail integration.

    • Developing sustainable supply chains in fashion

      The focus of this activity is sustainability acress the supply chain, the various approaches to achieve a sustainable supply, and the supply chain assurance.

    • Fashion supply chain calenders

      This activity looks at the various fashion supply chain calendars, including traditional, expedited, and fast fashion supply chain calendars.

    • Supply chain management in fashion

      This activity looks at the importance of supply chain management in fashion brand companies’ operations.

    • Week wrap up

      In this activity, you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge of the topics covered during the week. You will also be provided with a summary of the week's learning, and some insight on what to expect in the new week.

  • Week 4

    Sourcing decisions across the fashion supply chain

    • Weekly welcome

      Moving into the final week of this course, this activity will give you an overview of the topics that will be covered during this week.

    • Criteria used in sourcing decisions

      This activity looks at the important decisions a fashion brand company makes such as how, when, where, and by whom will the textiles and materials are designed and manufactured.

    • Political and geographical criteria

      Political and geographical criteria are imperative to the fashion industry. This activity looks at trade agreements, shipping, and infrastructure and availability of supplies.

    • Sourcing options

      This activity looks at the sourcing options for fashion companies, including domestic and offshore sourcing as well as vertical integration and contract production.

    • Codes of conduct in sourcing decisions

      Various reasons have caused fashion brands have taken greater responsibility for assuring responsible sourcing across their supply chains. This activity looks at the areas codes of conduct typically address.

    • Steps in making sourcing decisions

      This activity looks at the various sequential steps fashion companies take to make responsible and profitable sourcing decisions.

    • Course wrap up

      In this activity, you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge of the topics covered during the week. You will also be provided with a summary of the week's learning, and some insight into other courses in this series.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the definitions and applications of processes that occur throughout the fashion supply chain including design, merchandising, manufacturing, and marketing
  • Explore the history and organization of the global textiles industry
  • Explain the growth and development of the ready-to-wear fashion industry and its current characteristics
  • Explain the role of fashion retailing in the history of the fashion industry support industries including consumer publications and media, trade publications and media, and trade associations
  • Describe the support industries including consumer publications and media, trade publications and media, and trade associations

Who is the course for?

This course is for managers and leaders within fashion businesses who want to gain a deeper understanding of supply chain processes and operations.

Who developed the course?

Bloomsbury Publishing

Bloomsbury Publishing is a leading independent publishing house, established in 1986, with authors who have won the Nobel, Pulitzer and Booker Prizes.and is the originating publisher and custodian of the Harry Potter series. Bloomsbury has offices in London, New York, New Delhi, Oxford and Sydney. Within Bloomsbury’s Academic division, it publishes under Bloomsbury, as well as under a number of prestigious and historic imprint names.

Fairchild Books

With a history stretching back over more than 100 years, Fairchild Books is a world-leading publisher in the fields of fashion and interior design.

FutureLearn

FutureLearn is jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group and has been providing online courses for learners around the world over the last eight years.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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