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What is a supply chain?

In this article, fashion industry consultant Clare Lissaman defines what a supply chain is.
A garment worker for 3FREUNDE
© Mysource Ltd

“A supply chain is a system of organisations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities involve the transformation of natural resources, raw materials, and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer.”

“A supply chain consists of the set of relationships between (and within) firms that governs the flow of products from input supply through production, processing and distribution to the final consumer.”

“A supply chain is …a set of three or more units (organisations or individuals) directly involved in the upstream and downstream flows of products, services, finances, and/or information from a source to a customer.”

Source: Nagurney, Anna (2006). Supply Chain Network Economics: Dynamics of Prices, Flows, and Profits. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. ISBN 1-84542-916-8.

In considering building a sustainable supply chain for a fashion brand your ‘supply chain’ is not just the link between you and whoever makes the products you sell but all the links back to the raw materials, including taking into consideration all the component parts.

Plus, as the definition above shows, supply chains involve not just products and processes but also the people and knowledge required to move those products through those processes.

© Mysource Ltd
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How to Build a Sustainable Fashion Business

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