fashion industry is at a decisive point

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Dear readers,
The fashion industry is at a decisive
point in its life. In the past few
years, comments have emerged
requesting more sustainable
production. Following the tragedy of
the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse in
Bangladesh where 1134 people
were killed, various issues like the
poor operating conditions in
garment industries, lead to the
creation of the #FashionRevolution
movement. This inspired brands to
be clearer regarding their
production chain by utilizing the
hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes.
Therefore, we are very happy to
unveil that our start-up will also be
sustainable in consideration of
environmental impact and will also
use the Artificial Intelligence (AI) to
keep the designs trendy & fresh.
It is sure that consumers are
incrementally value-driven whilst
purchasing goods like shoes. As
per the Pulse of The Fashion
Industry’s 2019 report, 38% of
consumers found switching to a
favored brand depend on its social
or environmental practices. Thus,
our mission is to give sustainable
products which will be the solution
for those consumers. We hope you
enjoy our Sustainable Fashion and
Technology Start-up 2020 Business
We wish you a Pleasant reading!
Best Wishes,
The Subgroup 6 Team
*Heuritech, 2020. FASHION
Available at:
[Accessed 1 September 2020].
Why we have chosen Hemp as our
primary material rather than just
sticking to conventional cotton.
We have developed the AI to
recognize the characteristic of the
apparel in photos and search for
With the pollution caused due to the
fashion industry, our business will
soon become a need rather than an
Fashion Industry is the 3rd Largest
revenue generating industry since
At a Glance…………………………4
Our Material analysis……………5
Our AI and Technology
Viability (and Models) ……………9
Our Business model
Appendix (Peer
At a Glance….
The huge amount of social
media influencers around the
globe are constantly
influencing people with their
ideas, and today’s sad truth is
that people are drowning into
social media.
Our Start-up business will be using AI to track the early signs of a
fashion trend and provide the said designs to our clients. We will
also be providing them with Hemp to create the given designs
However, we have got a sad news for all rebels anticipating rolling
a joint from a shoe!
So basically, we will be using Hemp as a material which is in real
the ‘sober cousin’ of marijuana, to design shoes using AI. It is the
industrial hemp which comprises just a little amount of the
psychoactive substances of cannabis. So, the only high you will get
from this material is the moral high ground you will stand on
knowing you are using a sustainable fabric!
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Our Material Analysis…
Hemp also known as Industrial
Hemp, the form in which we would
be using it is one of the eco-friendly
crops. Reasons as to why it is
classified as an eco-friendly crop is
because of its growth in the
environment. It does not require
any pesticides yet it capable of
renewing the soil with each cycle of
growth. Hemp in general requires
minimal water to reach its full-length
Industrial Hemp producing
countries have a regular check
done by the government that
legislates a limit over the THC for
products that contain Hemp.
*Hodkel, B., 2020. What is Hemp Fabric: Properties,
How its Made and Where. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 12 September 2020].
Moving on to the benefits of the
Now we will discuss why we
chose Hemp over Cotton:
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Our AI and Technology analysis….
Before getting down to explaining what our services are,
we need to brush through a concept called Artificial
Intelligence (AI).
AI is the technology that enables the computer or system
to think and act more like a human. This is possible by
creating an algorithm that makes the system collect data
from its various surroundings and create responses
based on what it has already learnt. AI integrated
systems are developing at an increasingly high rate as
they are learning from their mistakes and change their
approach for the next time.
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The answer to that is not very straight forward but let us try making it
AI uses cognitive reasoning to solve problems like pattern recognition,
image recognition and forecasting. There are 3 major learning models
through which AI can learn this cognitive reasoning and improve itself to
better fulfil the requirements namely:
A. Reinforcement Learning
B. Supervised Learning
C. Unsupervised Learning
Reinforcement learning develops the AI’s knowledge through trial and error
interactions with its surrounding. Supervised Learning assumes that there will be a
teacher/supervisor that will train the AI into what is required. The last model and the
one we are using is Unsupervised Learning, which identifies patterns heuristically.
This broadens the scope and approach
of the AI thus allowing it to go beyond
that of human capabilities.
To facilitate this learning, there are various tools and services available in the world.
Google’s Auto ML Vision or Amazon’s Recognition are 2 of the biggest and most
widely used API’s (Application Programming Interface).
APIs are like frameworks that people can use to develop their AI algorithms and make
it more advanced. These APIs (Auto ML Vision and Amazon Recognition) train the AI
as per the user’s requirement for their custom AI model for a fee. This not only
reduces the time required to develop the AI but also makes it more efficient and
The benefits of using APIs are:
Technology development:
To begin with, the process of
development begins with first
developing the AI algorithm. The
algorithm however needs to be saved
on an Application server (An
application server is a space on which
the AI will run its calculations and
perform its functions). These servers
are going to be purchased by us as it is
going to be in constant use. Once this
is set up, the developers will create the
algorithm for the AI and set up various
parameters and conditions to trigger
the responses. For example, in the
image that follows the AI will have to
recognize the various characteristics
and log it as data for further
The AI technology needs do recognize
the image with respect to its attributes
and then cross reference it with the
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number of times it has come up in any
post or hashtag. By doing so it can
track the sudden surge in hits as
similar to that of when a trend is
emerging and after learning this from
various re-runs it will soon be able to
track the early signs of an emerging
trend. Thus, making it easier to make a
forecast of the upcoming trends and
The next phase is to deliver this data
as useful information to our clients.
This we will be doing by using cloud
space. Through Amazon Web Service
we will be hiring a cloud service and
allow temporary access to our servers
so that they use any information they
require. The link will direct them to a
dashboard with a well-designed web
page which they can easily navigate to
retrieve the information they require.
The last step of AI is to merge the
forecasted design trends with the
sustainable material Hemp to create a
product which will not only be up to
date in style but also be
environmentally friendly.
Brands can then use these designs
and material as a base or framework,
add their own signature to it and sell it into the market as new and sustainable.
Development of the AI and all aspects surrounding this including web page design
with regards to User Interface will take roughly 18 months. However, with the
unsupervised learning model and constant development and maintenance over time
the margin of error will become almost negligible.
Viability (and Models) …
Fashion is a huge industry, thus as a start-up we are mainly focusing on shoes sector.
In total this sector is projected to generate a revenue of US $125,752 million in 2020.
The annual growth rate (CAGR for 2020-2024) for shoe sector is 7.1%, which will
result in increasing the market volume to US $165,452 million by 2024. User
penetration of the shoe sector is 22.6% in 2020 and is expected to hit 34.3% in 2024.
By 2024 the users in this sector will mount to 2650.8 million in shoes. Hence, we can
see that the customer base of this sector is huge and investing or penetrating in the
segment can prove to be fruitful. In our business model, hemp is of utmost
importance, as that is the prime sustainable material that we shall be using to produce
shoes. As per the current market leather is forecasted to produce a CAGR of 6.2% by
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Asia-Pacific being the fastest growing
market. Leather goods are highly
becoming popular due to its inherent
qualities like fireproof, dustproof, crackproof and durability, which in turn is
giving rise in demand of trendy bags,
premium leather wallets, and leather
shoes. Europe based companies like
Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Gianni Versace
are the major players in the leather
product market. But, when looked at, it
is found the earth and its creatures
must pay a huge cost for using these
leather goods. Raising animals for
leather, require a huge amounts of
fossil fuels, water, and pastureland
which causes a lot of pollution. As vast
areas for pastureland requires cutting
of trees, it further leads to deforestation
eliminating earth’s tree canopy and
driving climate change. According to
the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) livestock pollution is the
greatest threat to our waterways.
Hence, our business model aims to
eliminate this harm caused to the
nature by bringing into existence
sustainable fashion items made of
hemp, which is a natural and
sustainable material. Hemp or in
simple term weed grows easily without
any herbicide, pesticides, or fungicides.
It dries quickly and does not rot. Hence
no processing for prevention of rotting
is needed. The way it is grown and
produced is mostly organic. Hemp can
be an ideal material for footwear
because being organic it is also
hypoallergenic and doesn’t irritate skin,
also will prevent the feet of the user
from sweating because of its thermo
regulating property.
Its natural anti-bacterial properties
prevent it from hanging on to odors
unlike many synthetic materials.
These fibers are extremely strong,
which will contribute towards the
durability of the footwear. There won’t
be any pollution or soil degradation
caused because of hemp as it is a
natural fiber and will decompose
eventually and will leave very small
carbon footprint compared to synthetic
vegan leather. Also, hemp plantations
will contribute towards reducing global
warming as it is after all a plant. The
cannabis grows very fast and yields
three to four times annually. The
production of hemp is very
inexpensive, and governments of many
countries are legalizing hemp for
industrial use. Soon there will be an
economic boom as the business of
hemp is growing rapidly for industrial
purposes, which will not only result in
great sustainability, but a huge costeffective economy will come into
*Hodkel, B., 2020. What is Hemp Fabric: Properties,
How its Made and Where. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 12 September 2020].
Policies Affecting the Market for
Industrial Hemp
Hemp (Cannabis sativa) has remained
a federally regulated Schedule I drug
under the Controlled Substance Act,
which is regulated by the Drug
Enforcement Agency (DEA). Recently
creation of Section 7606 of the
Agricultural Act of 2014 (the “Farm
Bill”) made a clear distinction between
the use of hemp (Cannabis sativa) for
medical, recreational, and industrial
purposes, which resulted in allowing, a
legal path for growing hemp for
industrial purposes with respect to
certain regulations. In 2016, a joint
statement explaining & detailing the
guidelines for growing industrial hemp
was issued as a part of state
sanctioned research program by the
DEA, U.S. Department of Agriculture,
and the Food and Drug Administration
Currently, farmers and institutions of
higher education are participating in
various program legalizing production
of hemp to increase the production of
cannabis eventually with time, so that
they could be used more for industrial
So, as we have already found out the
market of the shoe sector is huge and
projected to increase even more in the upcoming years with a good number of user
penetration, therefore a great opportunity can be perceived with this regard.
Astoundingly, Instagram fashion sector these days are trending more with sustainable
fashion hashtags, that is encouraging the transition towards more sustainable brand
practices. It suggests that the influencers do care about and are leaning towards
sustainable fashion, and it is a good sign to bring in a fashion revolution to serve the
huge market base that’s already projected.
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AHP enables managers to make potentially more effective decisions by structuring and evaluating the relative attractiveness of competing options
for any type of managerial decision.
By doing the AHP calculation for selecting the best criterion for sustainable materials amongst durability, polluting/Harmful, chemical free, we have
arrived at the following result:
With respect to the percentage of the best
criterion, we have done further AHP for
selecting the best product sustainable
product namely Hemp, Animal Leather,
Synthetic Material & Vegan Leather.
And here are the following results that we
have got:
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Our productor service has gone through all the steps of building the house of quality, and above is the house of quality of our product
and services that we have came up with all.
QFD can be deployed across the organization in response to customer requirement at various stages from NPD to production, which
involve designing characteristics, specifying components, process of production and quality planning.
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Patent is a type of intellectual that gives a right to the owner of
the product an exclusive right to the owner from preventing
his/her invention from usage by others.
Rights conferred by Patents are:
• Right to prevent others from making, using, offering for
sale, selling or importing infringing products in the
country where the patent was granted
Exception: non-commercial purposes (private use,
academic research)
• Right to assign, sell or license these rights
The role of a patent system includes the following:
• Protection – up to 20 years
• Encourages technological innovation
• Promotes competition and investment
• Provides information on the latest technical
• Promotes technology transfer
For a product to be Patented it should be:
New to the world (i.e. not available to the public anywhere in
the world)
Inventive (i.e. not an “obvious” solution), and
Useful – susceptible of industrial application.
Our business idea or product cannot be patented, as we are
not inventing anything that does not exist. We are
incorporating external innovation on already available
technology that is Artificial Intelligence along with a naturally
growing substance called Hemp for preparing our product or
service by merging these two.
Hence, we cannot patent our service or product.
Hemp has a lot of advantages due to which it is classified as
an eco-friendly form of fabric. Some of the reasons are
mentioned below:
On per acre basis, hemp produces more fibre than that of
trees and can be renewed for almost two to three times a year.
Compared to other normal trees, Industrial Hemp plants
absorb more carbon dioxide.
Along with its advantage of not using pesticides, the plant is
said to have return 60-70% of the nutrients it takes during
growth back into the soil.
The entire plant is used and does not go into waste. Starting
with the seeds, they have a lot of proteins and are used to
make oils for cooking and be used for paints. The leaves can
be used to replenish the soil as well as can be eaten and
made into juices. The outer part of the stem is used to make
textiles, rope while the inner core is used for paper, animal
Hemp alone gives the qualities of cotton, corn & soy.
Hemp tends to prevent soil erosions with the help of its strong
roots that penetrate as deep as nine feet deep into the soil
which holds the soil together.
Another amazing fact that hemp has is that it is used as a
plant that absorbs toxic metals. It was famously used during
the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster and helped remove radioactive
strontium and cesium
If you did not know, then hemp also helps provide a shelter for
wildlife like birds with its growth reaching up to a height of
three feet. On the other hand, the flowers of hemp are a good
source of pollen for the bees.
Hemp can also help fight against deforestation.
We know that hemp take four months to grow while trees take
years to mature. Hence, hemp could replace trees as a source
that provides raw material for the manufacture of paper. Hemp
does have the potential to save our planet that is getting
Converting skin into leather requires huge amounts of energy
and usage of dangerous chemicals, like formaldehyde, mineral
salts, coal-tar derivatives, and dyes, oils and sometimes
Effluents from tanneries contain huge amounts of pollutants,
like acids, sludge, sulfide etc. The process of tanning protects
the leather from rotting.
Many people who stays in proximity of the tanneries die of
cancer, that is caused by the exposure to toxic chemicals like
arsenic, sulfide and many other cancer-causing chemicals
used for processing and dyeing the leather.
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COSTING SHEET (For a financial year):
Material cost: Hemp
Sourcing (Cost per metre –
$11.70) (900 meters)
Freight (125g = 135 cm 100%
Custom Duties (3.5% of $
VAT (20% on subtotal of
$ 10,500
$ 280
$ 367.5
$ 2,229.5
$ 13,377
AI cost
AI – Development:
1. Salaries (2 Developers
& 1 Web Page
2. Server: maintenance
and purchase
3. AWS: Cloud space
4. API
$ 42,000
$ 1,100
$ 700
$ 500
$ 44,300
Branding & Selling cost
$ 7,000
$ 7,000
Marketing cost
$ 3,920
$ 3,920
Premises (Rent & Utilities)
$ 50,000
$ 50,000
Total Cost
$ 118,597
Average profit for shoe line
(20% shared and 20%
$ 79,064
Potential revenue (Based on
other company data &
Industry analysis)
USD of its
USD goal
$ 197,661
Cost of Incorporation
and Registration fees
$ 75
Contract Preparation
and Review
$ 140
License (Notification to
process personal data)
$ 50
IT and Equipment
$ 1,000
Travel cost
$ 1,000
AI Initial Development
$ 50,000
Hemp Licensing
$ 800
Total Start-up Cost
$ 52,990
Suggested Retail
Price: (PRICING)
Top Designer shoes
b/w $300-$600
Mid-Range shoes
b/w $75-$200
Shoe store like Payless
b/w $20-$50 per
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Our Business Model & Critique…
The question you might be thinking about right now is “Is it really this simple?” “And
why will any brand use your services?”.
Well to answer this lets just go over all that we have learnt. First, we
learnt what Hemp is along with its benefits and why it is a better option
over other materials. We explained about our sources and prices,
along with the licenses and legal restrictions surrounding Hemp.
We then moved on to the see the role of AI in the business. We saw
how it is developed and how it will recognize patterns and images and
over time once perfected the early signs of a trend. It will then convert
this data into a forecast. This forecast
is based on the upcoming design
which have the potential to become a
new trend. Various such forecasts can
be made based on the requirements of
the client and then provided to them for
a fee mentioned above. This fee is
going to be our basic revenue and one
of our two sources of income.
The second source of income will flow
from the Hemp material that we will
provide the clients along with the
designs that we give them. Since we
already have all the required licenses
and know-how of Hemp as a fibre we
can provide them the best designs
along with the best quality Hemp
material at the best possible cost.
Thus, our model may look basic,
however the work that goes behind the
scenes has to be done smoothly to
make it possible.
The answer to the
second question lies in
our Viability Analysis &
Sustainability report. It
can be observed that
the benefits that Hemp
can provide along with
the ability to stay ahead
of the fast-changing
fashion industry is exactly what brands
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need to stay ahead of their competition.
Big brands are now being targeted by negative comments due to their impact on the environment and less then friendly processing
methods. Our business can change this with the help of the fresh designs we provide them, the Hemp material which we are fully
equipped to provide combined with their already established manufacturing set up and brand name.
Thus, now more than ever, our services of AI and Hemp are of great value not only from a business perspective, but from the
environmental perspective as well.
The start may be a little slow, but once the importance of our business is recognized as we grow, the demand for our services will
grow as well. The AI will also get more efficient with the constant development and learning and as volumes increase our overall
costs will also reduce.
Compulsory Peer evaluation form to be submitted by every group
Group Name/ Project Sustainable Fashion and Technology Startup
Write the name of each of your group members in a separate column. For each person, indicate the extent to which your group agrees with the
statement on the left, using a scale of 1-4 (1=strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=agree; 4=strongly agree). Total the numbers in each column.
Evaluation Criterion
Group member:
Sayantani Bose
Group member:
Switzel Luis
Group member:
Chirag Israni
Group member:
Nicholas Mudaliar
Attends group meetings
regularly and arrives on
Contributes meaningfully
to group discussions.
Completes group
assignments on time.
Prepares work in a
quality manner.
Demonstrates a
cooperative and
supportive attitude.
Contributes significantly
to the success of the

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