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Service Design (MA)

Hwangjoo Kim


Degree Details

School of Design

Service Design (MA)

Stakeholder Map — We closely looked into sustainable garments and found a loophole of certified products. Certified clothing should be validated for each process, but there are many cases where uncertified materials are mixed. Accordingly, we researched certifications that are widely used for sustainable products. Each certification has different impacts and goals and it is applied to different stages of the supply chain. Which means, one certification doesn’t cover an entire process. As how the certifications are used matters in the industry, we focused on the relationship between the certification assessment body, manufacturers, and sustainable fashion brands. We had a conversation with the CEO of a certification assessment body, designers of the sustainable fashion industry, and so on.

3 Interview Insights — From the interviews, we gained three insights. Firstly, fashion brands find it difficult to access reliable information and searching manufacturers and relevant information is time-consuming. Secondly, obtaining and retaining certification is cost-burden. Manufacturers and fashion brands know that they could fall behind unless they follow sustainability. However, when they pursue ethical manufacturing, it is a common norm that a certification is required to prove sustainability, which is very expensive for small companies to obtain and retain. Lastly, it is Unintentionally caused greenwashing. In an interview with the certification assessment body, they said there are no perfect standards because each certification has different criteria, and pollutants and contaminants are inevitable. which implies the validity of clothes with a certification mark is not guaranteed. However, some fashion brands are not informed of this fact, so they unintentionally do deceptive marketing.

3 Personas — Sua is a director of a sustainable fashion brand. She quickly finds a supply chain partner, but a communication problem occurs with the first manufacturer. She decides to stop the contract and find another partner. Meanwhile, she has recently stopped the use of certification because of the high cost. Secondly, Jun is the CEO of a start-up fashion brand. He continues searching and studying to find a sustainably perfect material. He finally starts selling the product but he is told that the material is not actually sustainable in terms of how it’s produced. He feels that he can’t access reliable information about sustainable production. Lastly Jessie. She is a senior designer of a mid-size company. Her brand is recently involved in a legal dispute with copied products which results in sales loss. She needs to raise the profit back, but she is struggling to find ideas and methods of production.

Platform design: Supplin — Regarding Supplin’s main service, First, we share sustainable market information to fashion brands, but what is different from others is that we regularly update information, such as the possibility of using innovative materials. Secondly, when we match fashion brands with manufacturers, whether they have the same values would be considered. Close location is also an essential factor to reduce the logistical cost and maintain the bond with partners. Thirdly, about the guideline and consulting service, We suggest the next step towards sustainability based on Supplin’s goals. It would be more helpful to the brands who are planning the next sustainable line.

Supplin Goals & Guidelines — In order to clarify the direction of the service, we established four Supplin goals, which are set based on the relevant UN Sustainable development goals. Goal 1. Supplin pursues resource efficiency. It means the use of natural resources, energy, and water should be efficient and minimized. Goal 2. ‘pollution and disposal’ contains reducing greenhouse gas emission and the use of harmful substances. Waste management and water/gas purification are crucial factors. Goal 3. Supplin believes that ‘transparency and traceability’ is a way to achieve sustainability. We claim producers to disclose their supply chain. Goal 4. forming sustainable communities not only among industry players but also with customers is what Supplin expects from the users. Using Supplin’s goals as a standard, we specified the methods. Now we are ready to give consultation, suggesting the next steps to fashion brands towards sustainability. The guideline will be applied based on each brand’s focusing area.


Value Proposition — Here is our value proposition. Supplin provides 4 main functions through the website. The brands (like Sua, the first persona) who were finding suitable partners and wanted to gain trust without a certification are our main target users. Supplin suggests ‘Matching manufacturers’ service and provides a venue for disclosing the trustful supply chain. In detail, when we provide ‘Matching manufacturers’ service, producers being in a close location and having shared values is crucial. It enables the long-term partnership and maintains the early intention of production. When startup fashion brands (like Jun, the second persona) are having trouble collecting reliable information, the ‘market news’ page is a helpful research method for them. Moreover, Supplin can give them ‘guidance and consultation’ to build their own sustainability. Lastly, to the brands who are searching for the next sustainable lines, accessing others’ supply chain information and using the consulting service is useful. Supplin enables them to quickly catch up on the market movement and meet experts.

Supplin Challenge via Instagram — We deliver our philosophy via Instagram to scale up the service. Actively using social media, we decided to hold a ‘Supplin campaign’. It aims to encourage building a strong and fair relationship between fashion brands and manufacturers. Achieving sustainable goals needs efforts of every step of producers, and this campaign sheds lights on how they are seeking sustainability as a community. Joining the campaign is simple; fashion brands upload a picture of fist bump with manufacturers on Instagram and hashtag, Supplin and challenge.

Change of Relationships — From the fist-bumping campaign with fashion brands and manufacturers, Supplin expects to change the vertical relationship to parallel. Empowering both sides enables active cooperation, which is connected to finding better ways to change the environmentally unfriendly industry. Once there is a strong bond between sustainable fashion brands and ethically producing manufacturers, they will be more collective, drawing conscious consumers. Lastly, the next step is becoming an embracing community.

Ecosystem Map — This ecosystem map shows what we mean by the embracing community. Brands and manufacturers, who were not prioritizing the eco-friendly production, are soaked into our ecosystem. As a result, the sustainable fashion industry is extended. Furthermore, With more and better choices in the market, the consumers might consider sustainability, hesitating once before purchasing clothes.

Supplin Website - 1 — The list of evidence that meets 4 Supplin goals will be shown on the Manufacturer’s detail page. The more they upload evidence of sustainability, the higher score they can obtain. The evidence can be checked by anyone, including Supplin, and other producers.

Supplin Website - 2 — Here are the market news page and the list of evidence for fashion brands. You can access up-to-date news and obtain reliable information on the news page. The details of production that have been uploaded by fashion brands will appear on the supply chain page. We’ve added a few more evidence on the manufacturer’s page, as several aspects of reused resources and ethical sourcing should be considered.

Supplin pursues the sustainability of the fashion industry by promoting a transparent supply chain. We check the overall manufacturing process through not only certifications but also the facilities and various evidence.
Supplin mainly intervenes between sustainable fashion brands and manufacturers, which will also affect the relationship between producers and consumers. As a digital platform, Supplin provides four main functions - Sustainable market news, Matching manufacturers, Supply chain information, and Guideline & consulting service. In the sustainable fashion industry, we take a role as a new research platform as well as being a new channel to meet partners. Supplin enables ethically produced products to gain a strong competitive edge besides the price. Through this, Supplin will increase the accessibility of information on sustainable fashion by improving ethical decision making of fashion brands and consumers.


Service design, Platform design
FashionService designsustainabilitytransparency

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