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Sustainable Clothing Industry: Production, Consumption and Recycling Systems

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020) | Viewed by 19938

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA
Interests: clothing and textile sustainability; closed-loop manufacturing; product development; circular economy; textile chemistry
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last few decades, general consumption has accelerated, with a detrimental effect on the environment. This acceleration of consumption is especially noticeable in the apparel and textile industry. Global clothing production doubled from 2000 to 2014. The average person buys 60% more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago. Textile and apparel production, use, and disposal processes utilize natural resources and produce waste. Although almost 100% of textiles and clothing are recyclable, globally, 80% of discarded textiles are sent to the land fill, and only 20% are reused and recycled. Consumers have been identified as the primary group that discards clothing; however, pre-use clothing and industrial waste created during production are also frequently disposed of in the landfill by manufacturers. Because of the complexity of textile and apparel product development and supply chain combined with consumer behavior related to the consumption and disposal of these goods, the issue of sustainable clothing and textiles is multifaceted and can be addressed through a variety of methods concerning modifications in clothing and textile production, consumption, and disposal.

This Special Issue aims to enhance the understanding of alternative methods effective in reducing the environmental impact of clothing and textile production, consumption, and disposal. We need to better understand how this goal can be achieved and how to make industry professionals and consumers aware of this issue so to impact their behavior. We welcome articles examining processes and programs that show an effective reduction of the environmental impact during apparel and textile lifecycles, from design to end of life.  Therefore, this Special Issue also expects to contribute to research examining the development and implementation of such processes. Papers that are practically oriented as well as articles that aim to develop theoretical approaches are welcomed.

Prof. Karen K. Leonas
Guest Editor

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  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Closed-Loop Manufacturing
  • Circular Economy
  • Apparel
  • Apparel Take-Back Programs

Published Papers (1 paper)

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23 pages, 647 KiB  
Towards Sustainable Textile and Apparel Industry: Exploring the Role of Business Intelligence Systems in the Era of Industry 4.0
by Sumera Ahmad, Suraya Miskon, Rana Alabdan and Iskander Tlili
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2632; - 26 Mar 2020
Cited by 81 | Viewed by 18516
Industry 4.0 is a new era of industrial revolution in which textile and apparel (T&A) companies are adopting and integrating advanced technologies to achieve sustainability and a competitive edge. Previous studies have just focused on the perspective of big data utilization in Industry [...] Read more.
Industry 4.0 is a new era of industrial revolution in which textile and apparel (T&A) companies are adopting and integrating advanced technologies to achieve sustainability and a competitive edge. Previous studies have just focused on the perspective of big data utilization in Industry 4.0 and neglected the role of business intelligence systems (BIS), especially in the T&A industry. The current study is one of the first to investigate the determinants of BIS adoption with an eye towards understanding how BIS can resolve sustainability issues in T&A companies with Industry 4.0 technologies. Methodology: A qualitative research approach is applied with 14 semi-structured in-depth interviews from 12 of the world’s high-end T&A companies. The snowball and purposeful sampling strategy is used to select the participants. The qualitative content analysis technique is used to analyze the interview data. Results: The findings revealed various themes, such as sustainability issues in T&A companies, improved value creation processes with leading BI solutions, and perceived difficulties in the adoption of BIS. Major improvements are perceived in the apparel retail business because apparel companies are more prone to adopt the Industry 4.0 technologies with advanced business intelligence (BI) solutions. The results prove the pivotal role of economic sustainability in the adoption of BIS and Industry 4.0 technologies in T&A companies. Full article
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