Nowadays the world seems to be going in the direction of being more educated in different spheres than ever. Consumers now have access to a lot of knowledge about all things: starting from IT, to food, global services and even up to the clothes they are wearing. Mentioning this is the process of bringing attention to the importance of quality. That quality should be in everything, and Apparel Industry is one of the most essential spheres that surely needs the quality to be top notch. Therefore, keeping in mind that today’s apparel consumers around the world, obvious enough, pay attention to combination of style, affordability and good quality, a great chunk of practices should be taken in order to ensure the abovementioned quality.
However, this process is not an easy and fast one. It needs to be detailed and controlled, and sometimes might be time-consuming and costly for companies. But in order for the brand and the industry overall to benefit, quality control is vital to conduct. So let’s figure out what steps should be taken in order to achieve the goal effectively within this sphere.
In the Apparel Industry, quality control begins right from the first moment: starting from raw materials to the moment the finished product gets to the consumer. According to Textile Learner, the operational process of quality control comprises “quality planning, data collection, data analysis and implementation” to be conducted on all stages of the product lifecycle: design creation, manufacturing, delivery and maintenance. The purpose of quality control itself is to make sure that consumer demand is met on a high level, while eliminating material-waste and keeping the profits high with production costs low.
In order to achieve the assurance of high quality and its control, a lot of organizations have been created that set international standards to be met in the Textile Industry (some of them are general standardization organization for economy in general). They conduct inspections and testings on the apparel quality control. Some of such worldwide organizations are ISO (International Standardization Organization), which is the largest in the world and ISO standards are used in all spheres of the economy. Another organization is the American Association for Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), which is internationally recognized for its methods of testing dyed and chemically treated fabrics. Japanese Industrial Standard (JIN) is an important organization for the quality control in the Apparel Industry of Japan, that focuses on Textile Engineering. Some other standardization organizations are DIN (German), CSA (Canada), BSI (Great Britain), ES (European Standards), AS (Australian Standards) and so on and so forth.
It is easily seen that quality control is a matter of essence and is carried out all over the world to ensure high quality products for the consumers with best price. It’s implemented mainly by authoritative organizations through inspections, monitoring and testing.
There are a few steps that need to be followed generally, in order to ideally avoid losses caused by bad quality. Such steps can be:
- Study the industry standards to be implemented
- Define the objectives of your factory’s quality control
- Testing the materials (harmful substances, flammability, etc)
- Train employees/ improve working relations
- Carry out an Internal Audit to monitor the process of manufacturing
- External Audit by inspection companies and businesses.
Decisions should be made upon the data collected throughout the inspections, process monitoring and testing results. In order to achieve maximum efficiency, avoid risks and extra spendings, Quality Control should be a constant practice in Apparel Industry. Ensuring good, clean and safe working conditions will result in high quality products to be provided to consumers, will help reduce wastes of materials and other resources, as well as costs, and last but not least, good quality control will have a huge influence on the corporate image of the company both in the market, among their competitors, and among the consumers.