The concept of sustainability has become a buzzword in modern society and consequently, managing solid waste has become a key priority. Out of this, apparel solid waste accounts for a significant portion of solid waste. Pre-consumer apparel waste generated during apparel manufacturing such as fabric waste contributes to 60% of total apparel solid waste. According to the well-established waste minimisation techniques, prevention of apparel waste at early design stages is proven to be effective. Hence, the prevention of fabric cutting waste at the inception of sourcing is the main focal point of this study. At the stage of sourcing fabric, if the ideal fabric type and traits can be chosen, it will lead to eliminating the possibility of excess apparel cutting waste generation. As a result, the study takes initiative in assessing supplier selection criteria when sourcing fabric. A list of supplier selection criteria is analysed using expert interviews and questionnaires focusing on the mass apparel manufacturing sector in Sri Lanka. Further, the study contributes to introducing a new supplier selection criteria list that would, directly and indirectly, minimise pre-consumer fabric cutting waste. The Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) model incorporating Intuitionistic Fuzzy TOPSIS (IFT) is used to capture the linguistic and intuition-based human judgments encompassed in the supplier selection decision-making process. The results are validated using a real-world case study. The study manages to introduce a list of supplier selection criteria in terms of Sustainable Supplier Selection; in the three virtues of economic, social and environment. Additionally, it introduces a new supplier selection criterion to minimise cutting waste. Quantification of possible reduction of fabric cutting waste is assessed by maker efficiency ratio using a selected case organisation in the mass apparel manufacturing industry. Furthermore, the study presents new directions for flexible negotiation strategies when sourcing fabric in Mass Apparel Manufacturing Context.
Keywords: Pre-Consumer Apparel Waste, Cutting Waste, Intuitionistic Fuzzy TOPSIS, Supplier Selection Criteria, Fabric Sourcing Supplier Selection Criteria