Your paper will be based on the March 17, 2014 article, “The Secret World of Fast Fashion,” by Christina
Moon (Pacific Standard Magazine). This article gives an in-depth account of the global logistics of “fast
fashion,” its ties to Los Angeles’ Korean community and Jobber market.
Once you’ve read the article, do a little research into retailers like Forever 21, Zara, Urban Outfitters and
other fast fashion retailers, several of which are listed in the article and perhaps gain some insight into
their supply chain logistics, manufacturing, etc. Write a paper, 3 full pages minimum, 4 full pages
maximum (PLUS a works cited page) on your thoughts regarding the article as it relates to what you’ve
learned as a supply chain student and as a consumer. Feel free to add your thoughts as they relate to the
US job market, whether you’re a US Citizen or whether you’re the citizen of another country.
Your papers must be coherent and well organized. You MUST cite every single source you use. I expect
you to conduct internet research, but I also expect you to cite the link(s) you use. I do not want to read a
paper that is one big quote. Your paper needs to have original, independent thought. Don’t give me 4
pages of cites (the software will tell me, and you will lose points). Remember, your Works Cited page
must be a separate page. Your paper should be Arial or Times New Roman font.
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Fashion industry has experienced drastic transformation in the past few years. Different
factors have contributed to the transformation in the industry such as increased digitalization and
competition among others. A number of articles provide insights on the changes in fashion
industry across the globe. This paper is based on Christina Mon article, “The Secrete World of
Fast Fashion”. It provides insights on supply chain and other related aspects based on the article.
Fast fashion is a concept that emerged due to the decrease in the period it takes for a
given fashion to circulate in the market or to be designed. Nowadays, fashion designers have
become creative and design fashions that suit a range of consumers. With increased level of
digitalization and competition, fashion industry has become so agile. Designs no longer take
months to reach to global markets across the world as it were in the last 15 years (Moon, 2014).
Nowadays, this period has reduced drastically and has contributed to increased competition.
These changes are explained by the improvement in the supply chain.
In US, fashion found its way in 1980s by the Koreans. Koreans in 1960 were running a
lucrative fashion industry before finding their way in Brazil and then exploring markets in Los
Angeles, US (Moon, 2014). Nowadays, the largest fast fashion company Forever 21 managed by
the Chang Korean family dominates US Los Angeles markets. The retailer competes for the
market with other already established retailers such as Zara, Urban outfitters and Jobber market
among many others.
Hundred Korea families deal in fashion industry and they design, organize factory labor
that usually cut and saw clothes in place that are sold to many retailers in the US. Some of these
huge and established retailers include the Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Nordstrom, T.J Maxx
and Anthropologie (Moon, 2014). Some of these clothes are for export in global markets such as
Vietnam and China.
This article is therefore informative and educative especially on the supply chain
management in fast fashion. Every entrepreneur sets up a business with the intention of getting
more customers. The products must get to the customer through certain means or channels. The
supply chain management begins from manufacturing whereby raw products are transformed
into finished products. The manufacture is expected to identify the most reliable suppliers that
can ensure constant supply of raw material to ensure that they are transformed into finished
goods. Most of the Korean families manufacture the products and package them in various
designs before they supply them to retailers. The products either are sold to major retailers such
as Forever 21 at a wholesale price for distribution or are imported to other global markets such as
Vietnam (Moon, 2014). The retailers then can either sell the merchandise at a wholesale price or
at retail price to the consumers. This ensures that the products reach consumers at their specific
locations at the right time. This distribution is very important as it ensure company sustainability
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and survival. Any challenges in the distribution channel may affect the company profitability and
in case of such, then it requires an immediate course of action.
For any consumer, it is important to understand supply chain to be in a position to
understand the best way to identify opportunity in the market. This article is more elaborative in
explaining how clothes end up reaching consumers. The longer the supply chain, it means the
price will be higher and this will be pushed to the consumers. Therefore, as a consumer it is
important to identify the distribution channels to access fashion at competitive prices. The US
market has many fast fashion players that supply fashion to retailers who finally sell the
merchandise to consumers. Having knowledge in this will enable one to benefit from
competitive prices. Furthermore, the article has provided substantial information on the various
retailers reliable when it comes to supply of fast fashion. Quality and convenience are key
aspects to a consumer. The industry is managed by Koreans families that have vast experience
and knowledge in the area because of the long period working in the same industry (Moon,
2014). This therefore, explains the level of quality in their design. Multiple sources of channels
exists that companies use to ensure that the products they produce reach the markets. With the
internet a consumer can easily trace the local store, purchase clothes, compare prices in several
outlets and as well preview the new fashion designs on the market. You tube and other video
links available through the internet provides an alternative source of information to the
consumers. They as well have facilitated the proliferation and spread of fashion designs across
the world giving consumers an array of choice.
Communication and sensitivity to cultural aspects is very important for any
businessperson that operates in foreign country. It is through communication that people connect
and form relationships. Culture presents an obstacle or rather an impediment in most supply
chain especially in fashion industry. This situation was typified in the 2000 as Koreans faced
challenges in dealing with American retailers. The barriers include lack of American cultural
fluency, and could not understand aesthetics and designs of the Americans (Moon, 2014).
However, this situation was changed when kids came out of their university to join their families
in business. The kids understood English and cultural identities of Americans. They could
communicate fluently with the American retailers and domestic department store buyers.
Furthermore, it is prudent for the fashion industry to have skills in design. This calls for
innovativeness and creativity to remain relevant in the market. Marketing and merchandising
skills are also very important as this ensures that the company expands its markets share and is
able to improve in terms of competitive edge. Some of the innovative and marketing skills
relevant to boost supply chain in fast fashion include rebranding of business, creating attractive
company logos, building showrooms spaces to appeal to the wholesalers buyers, setting up of
websites and many other strategies.
Another important aspect to consider in the supply chain in fast fashion industry is cost.
Selecting the appropriate supply chain approach is very importnat to reduce costs of production.
Reduced costs of production affect the price of the products sold to the consumers. Some of the
supply chain approaches used include lean and agile (Hines, 2004). In lean there is correct
appropriation of commodity in relation to what it is produced while in agile manufacturers share
information and technology. Combining both approaches is refereed as leagile (Hines, Tony &
Bruce. 2001). For instance, in US, Koos manufacturing company is a Korean owned factory in
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the Southgate neighborhood in Los Angel. The company designs, cuts, sew and finishes among
many others. This reduces its costs of production as customers can access their products at low
costs (Hines, 2007). Relationship between industries, retailers, suppliers and customers across
various supply chain is very crucial in ensuring that the process is successful and benefits
everyone. For instance, fashion designers such as Forever 21 have established good customer
services that have enabled them to remain competitive. They have as well invested more in
creativity and quality of their designs making them gain a competitive edge over their rivals. In
the Jobber market, there are many showrooms and business dealing in fashions and this gives the
buyers a wide array of shops to buy. They can compare the prices, the quality of designs across
the market and decide to purchase from those that they feel are cheap and meet their threshold.
Furthermore, it is important for the fashion industry to ensure that they have constant supply of
designs to allow the consumers to make the decision of what suits them. Consignments in
Forever 21 arrive daily and this has as well contributed to the company gaining competitive edge
over its competitors in terms of urgency of delivery of supplies (Moon, 2014).
Increased competition in fast fashion as well sparks cooperation that leads to increased
creativity. Consumers benefit from this as they get value for their money. Fast fashion industry
has become competitive as various retailers companies such as those at Jobber market, Forever
21 compete for the markets (Moon, 2014). It is also very important that there is high level of
truth and coordination within every family or businesspersons to boost efficiency of the global
production process. The family members must make decisive decisions on the way forward to
ensure that the process run on smoothly even as they spearhead their global entrance strategy.
It is also important that companies in fast fashion set up warehouses in different areas to
meet the global demand. This ensures constant supply of their merchandise. It is also very
important for the company to consider multiple sources of their products and to keep vigilant of
the market trends. This ensures that the company keeps track of the fashion trends as well as is
able to explore new opportunities in the markets. This is one of the strategies that Forever 21 has
adopted and has enabled it to remain competitive.
US job market is inclusive to people from different backgrounds. Consideration that is
more important is the skills and knowledge an individual brings to an organization. Fashion
industry is opened to both citizens and immigrants. However, most of the people that deals in
fashion and textile sectors in Los Angeles is Korean families something contributed by their
historical lives (Black, 2012). They specialized in these areas and therefore, took upon
themselves to ensure that they earn a living from the same.
In conclusion, this article is insightful and informative especially on the changing and
transforming fashion industry. Fashion industry in the previous years has undergone numerous
transformations as new designs come up and spread within weeks. Designs range from various
styles, colors and sizes giving the consumers an array of choices. This attest to the changes
experienced in the supply chain. Clothes are shipped from Asia, designed and manufactured then
taken to retailers such as Forever 21 at Jobber markets and other retailers for their distribution to
consumers at various locations. Global markets as well are easily accessible through
establishment of warehouses and use of new technologies such as internet.
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Black, Sandy (2012). The Sustainable Fashion Handbook. New York: Thames and Hudson
Hines, T., & Bruce, M. (2001). Fashion marketing – Contemporary issues. Oxford: Butterworth-
Hines, T. (2004). Supply chain strategies: Customer driven and customer focused. Oxford:
Hines, T. (2007). Globalization: Global markets and global supplies, in Hines, T. and M.Bruce.
Eds. Fashion Marketing Contemporary Issues 2nd Edn. Oxford, Elsevier