What’s Wrong With the Fashion Industry?
The labor situation in the fashion industry today is growing at a high rate. The global economy is configured for extensive and complex international networking where information, raw materials, and final products are easily channeled from the producers to the centers of consumption with a lot of ease (Venturini and Verbano 2014 p.110).
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Nevertheless, the robotization in the fashion industry has created dilemma to the manufacturers. Robotization has impacted both positively and negatively.
The positive side effect is that in the bulk of work is done at a fast speed as opposed to before. High market demand requires products to be availed in the market so that the consumers can get what they desire within the shortest period of time. A point of dilemma comes in when cooperate and social responsibility (CSR) also is to provide employment to the people. In this case, the manufacturing companies remain aloof because they lack the best approach to employ, whether to use robots in manufacturing or creating labor to man. More confusing, the manufacturing companies are also to convince and gain trust from the customers that the fashions are of high quality and are produced from man’s labor.
Mirriam (2013) says that labor standards and corporate social responsibility (CSR) within the fashion industry have been scrutinized in the recent past. With the increasing rate of globalization, the industries are widespread to all parts of the nations. In this dictum, the retailers work hand in hand to ensure that there is maximum safety and labor to the clients. They also work tirelessly to ensure that clients are sustained and good quality provided to them at all cost, however, this is still a challenge to them (Eding and Scholtens 2017 p.652). The challenge of using the robots as new technology in designing fashions to replace human labor is a serious factor in the production industry.
On the other hand, it is very difficult to get into the terrain of the borderland between fashion and human rights. There are a lot of cultural and intellectual challenges which are coupled with the same, sometime with moral contradictions too. Sarah Labowitz, a graduate of the Grinnell College and the Fletcher School at tufts after a prolonged research examines the relationship of the massive market of the fashion and human right (Moncrieff 2017 p.113). She says that business plays a very interregnal part in when it comes to people experience rights.
Sarah is perturbed with the manner in which companies eventually changes their behavior to result into a better realization of human rights. An apparel industry is used in this case, which is a commodity production to manufacture cheap clothes. This is a huge driving force to employment more so to the developing nations. In the research, the team also looked at the recruiting immigrants in the industries to provide cheap labor. The investors also are appreciated in the manner in which they measure social factors as part of sustainable investing stratagem.
Sewbot automation’s clothes made by the robots were initially developed at Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology development Center in 2012. Three years later, the company was able to sell varieties of robotic version that could make mats and towels. More inversion deployed in the Little Rock factory can today makes T-shirts and sew jeans too. Sewing simple items of clothing is one of the labor extensive tasks that require to be done by human labor. Getting a robot to do it the right way is somehow tricky.
Fabric stitches like the comfy and flexible knits used for T-shirts is very tricky to fashion and they require a lot of flexibility, robots are not great enough to provide that sort of improvising. After doing research for quite long, a sewing robot which uses machine in spotting and adjusting to the distortion in the fabric was invented. It was able to make simple products like bath mats. Currently, there is advancement in technology and much of the work can be done faster as opposed to the way it was done before.
Clothing manufacturing is pretty complicated. Getting robots involved is has been a colossal struggle. Despite the great advancement made in the manufacturing industries using automated and aviation methods, some have remained unchanged. Some companies just moved from U.S to the extreme side of Pacific in order to get low and cheap labor to meet the standards of the consumers.
Products made by robots appear to be very expensive and most of the consumers do not access them, which is a challenge in the market demands. Recent research carried out in the United States of America by the Fashion Industry Association shows that almost forty three of the American Fashion companies are sourcing for cost as their greatest challenge in the business.
Automation will only become a competitive tool in the fashion industry in case its big part will be the number of headaches it can relive to the industry. It will be an important tool for the rapidly increasing population, which will only help the domestic factories in competing the offshore factories through the provision of cheap labor. Sewbo is only a year old and it is competing with the overseas companies, where almost all the clothes on U.S backs are currently made. This means that almost one hundred percent of the U.S clothing that is sold is imported. There are, however, some limitations associated with the use of Sewbo.
During a demonstration set up, a sewbo, it took like thirty minutes for the process to complete a T-shirt. In contrast to this, Zornow believes that it can take less time in doing the same process once they are set on the same manufacturing assembly line. On the same note, in the production environment, robots work tirelessly and they need no break once set to sew. Because of this, they are raraly subjected to error, unlike human being.
The use of robots in designing the fashions today has affected the market both positively and negatively. According to the Wood head publishing (2018), at the beginning of sewing automation, the focus was mainly on technical applications. However, the use of robots in handling textiles have been proved and it is successful, more so in the composite production.
The same idea is supported by Khosravi and Ghapanchi (2016) saying that the production has gone to higher rate hence clients getting a variety of their fashions within the shortest time possible. On the same plinth, semiautomatic sewing units have been used to take over in this production steps. A good example is the sewing of the trouser pockets is highly done by the robots (Choi et al. 2014 p.87). The analysis was done give it out clearly that in the present days, the manufacturing machine and research have developed new and adaptable modalities which help in achieving high flexibility as far as seam designs are concerned.
For the past years, the manufacturers have been having skilled and proficient roles in the companies. The introduction of the automated systems has added another conundrum in the sense that the robots used require a lot which could have just been used by the human labor. They need programming and knowledge to be trained and instilled in them in a bid to make them expand the skills set in them (Fernandes 2014 p.7).
In this case, it is involving the company to initially install and set up all these processes to suit the usage of the robots. With the right know-how, staff can easily learn and adapt and apply the skills for long period of time. As the name suggests too, the automated system is only applicable in the cases of power. They cannot do without an electric drive in them (Cabassi, Falanga and Romani 2017 p.430). This consumes a lot of energy which would rather be used in by man to enhance productions.
While the robots are fully autonomous, around four people will be employed to work in the production line. Others will then work in the logistics and other parts within the factory. SoftWear results states that a robot can create fifty to one hundred jobs within the factory. There is an initiative set to improve the sustainability of the fashion industry called Fashion for Good, which is calculated that the Sewbot can help out in many emissions. According to Rajan (2015), robots will have positive impact on both labor and environment.
This is so because most people will be employed in the cotton farms to produce a lot of it to cope up with the manufacturing industries that produce more clothes to meet the consumers demand. He continue by saying that as other 2.5 billion are added in the global population, more clothes are needed, it is a basic need, therefore, robot will produce those clothes at a faster rate than human effort. Also, the use of man in production has a lot of pollution while robots robots will produce those clothes with less pollution.
As a fashion buyer, the shift is imminent. Frey and Osborne (2017) say that the consequences related to the automated system are man satisfying. The shift will lead to most of the jobs done a faster rate as opposed to before. Then, the high population will be satisfied. Also, the locals will be motivated to grow much of cottons because of the high supply required in the fashion industries. Miceviien?, Sinkeviius, Urbanaviit and Henschke (2015) support the fact that one of the biggest concerns that surround the prologue of robotic automation is the impact it has on the workers.
If a robot can have high performance at a more consistent rate, then there is a big fear that the human service may not be needed at all. On the other hand, quality products are is an assurance. The automation is widespread to most of the developed nations that produce fabrics and it is realized to be a satisfying way to many because they are not prone to mistake as human and can work for long period of time without exhaustion.