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Special Issue "Innovative Sustainable Practices from Product to Consumer"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 7688

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Hyo Jung (Julie) Chang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hospitality and Retail Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
Interests: psychology of sustainability; sustainable education and approaches; sustainable consumer behavior and culture
Dr. Stacy H. Lee
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Hospitality and Retail Management, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79415, USA
Interests: sustainability in retail industry; sustainable consumption and production; global supply chain; international trades; online multi-sided platforms; big data and social media; corporate social responsibility in organizational; consumer studies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Seoha Min
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Apparel Merchandising and Management, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA, USA
Interests: cultural aspects of design; sustainable design practices; innovative technology in the design proces

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Industry players have embraced sustainability in various forms within their business practices, from product development to consumer/retail management. To achieve sustainability goals, they have taken action on a number of initiatives, such as innovations in sustainability strategies. For example, adapting virtual prototyping technology enables designers and manufactures to achieve sustainability by resource-efficient, human-centered product development. In addition, there has been a sustainability movement to foster a change in the retail system towards ecological and social integrity, which can lead all stakeholders in the retail supply chain to rethink their actions with regard to sustainability. Innovative mindset and successful sustainability practice examples can help to build a sustainable culture for retailers and consumers, which, in turn, benefits the future industry. Therefore, it is important to understand the innovative sustainable practices that are currently in place and to explore how to broaden the understanding and action related to them.

In this context, this Special Issue invites research investigating innovative sustainable perspectives/practices, from product development to retail management and consumer behavior. The topics related to this Special Issues could be approached by a variety of methodological and philosophical means. Papers may address sustainability issues from the perspective of business and industry, marketing, psychology, sociology, or pedagogy. Contributions from an interdisciplinary perspective are also encouraged.

Deadline: December 31st, 2021

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Innovative approaches and strategies in sustainability issues in retail management;
  • Contemporary consumer behavior practices related to sustainability;
  • Sustainable supply chain management;
  • Communication strategies and big data analysis in sustainability;
  • Creative/innovative product development for sustainability;
  • Technology advancement in product development, supply chain, and retail business for sustainability.

Dr. Hyo Jung (Julie) Chang
Prof. Dr. Stacy H. Lee
Dr. Seoha Min
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • retail management
  • consumer behavior
  • product development
  • supply chain management
  • innovativeness
  • technology

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Value Propositions for Small Fashion Businesses: From Japanese Case Studies
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3502; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063502 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Environmental problems at the global level have become a critical issue in today’s fashion industry. However, small-and medium-sized fashion business (SMFBs) encounter barriers in promoting green business owing to finances, professional expertise, knowledge, and technology. Therefore, innovative ideas are vital for SMFBs to [...] Read more.
Environmental problems at the global level have become a critical issue in today’s fashion industry. However, small-and medium-sized fashion business (SMFBs) encounter barriers in promoting green business owing to finances, professional expertise, knowledge, and technology. Therefore, innovative ideas are vital for SMFBs to effectively address constraints to compliance. The purpose of this research is to analyze how SMFBs develop the interactive nature of value propositions based on the case studies of the Onomichi Denim Project and the REKROW and addresses what elements are associated with value propositions based on the human-centered perspectives. This study collected data through face-to-face and remote interviews, and a review of the previous literature, including magazines, websites, and videos. This study identified four value elements contributing to value propositions: environmental value, embedded social value, synergetic value, and educational value. These elements developed through various forms of interaction, such as a unique co-production system embedding social ties and the establishment of a production-oriented circular economy. The study proposed value creation through value proposition as a strategy crucial to managing SMFBs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Sustainable Practices from Product to Consumer)
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Article
Effective Sustainability Messages Triggering Consumer Emotion and Action: An Application of the Social Cognitive Theory and the Dual-Process Model
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2505; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052505 - 22 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 753
Abstract
Communication utilizing proper message framing is a crucial component in the promotion of sustainability and other related activities. Additionally, engaging all stakeholders in sustainable communication and endeavors is proven to be essential to corporate success. This is especially true for textile and apparel [...] Read more.
Communication utilizing proper message framing is a crucial component in the promotion of sustainability and other related activities. Additionally, engaging all stakeholders in sustainable communication and endeavors is proven to be essential to corporate success. This is especially true for textile and apparel retailers, as they strive to gain competitive advantages through the incorporation of sustainability in their communication with their stakeholders. Therefore, promotional activities consisting of different message framing types can be a profitable way to reach, inform, and persuade consumers to engage in sustainable activities and to support corporate sustainability initiatives. Based on two theoretical foundations, the social cognitive theory and the dual-process model, this study investigates how different aspects of sustainability and message framing can persuade textile and apparel consumers to engage in sustainable behavior. The findings of this study demonstrated that each message framing type significantly influences the consumers’ emotion. Further, when the textile and apparel consumers purchase sustainable products, as a result of conscious decision-making or without much thought put into the buying decision, the act of buying sustainable products per se compels the consumers to make sustainable choices in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Sustainable Practices from Product to Consumer)
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Article
An Ethnographic Study of Collaborative Fashion Consumption: The Case of Temporary Clothing Swapping
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2499; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052499 - 22 Feb 2022
Viewed by 549
Abstract
This is the first research that has examined temporary swapping, a form of collaborative fashion consumption, that involves clothing exchange between two people that does not require the transfer of product ownership or monetary compensation. In this ethnographic study, we explored benefits, risks, [...] Read more.
This is the first research that has examined temporary swapping, a form of collaborative fashion consumption, that involves clothing exchange between two people that does not require the transfer of product ownership or monetary compensation. In this ethnographic study, we explored benefits, risks, and the meanings constructed by eight women before, during, and after exchanging parts of their wardrobes with a swap partner. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was used to organize the results of interpretation of participant diaries with photographs of swapped garments and created outfits over a six-month period. While the swapping experience addressed basic physiological needs and secured free resources (more clothing to wear) for all participants, the more advanced psychological (social, self-esteem) and personal growth needs (self-actualization, transcendence) were met for only some of them. Similarly, women perceived different risks (safety and self-esteem risks). Through a holistic interpretation of the results, we discovered two critical factors determining overall temporary swapping satisfaction and success: (1) closeness of the relationship between the swap partners and (2) participant love for clothes. Temporary swapping might play a critical role in the fashion marketplace transition to sustainable consumption practices because it provides a middle ground between product ownership and non-ownership and thus facilitates gradual dematerialization of consumer lifestyle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Sustainable Practices from Product to Consumer)
Article
Everyday Creativity Practiced through a Capsule Wardrobe
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2092; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042092 - 12 Feb 2022
Viewed by 593
Abstract
This case study examines how practicing a capsule wardrobe can influence one’s creativity and how this daily activity can contribute to sustainability at the level of the individual users. The focus is on little-c creativity, which highlights everyday creativity practiced through everyday activities, [...] Read more.
This case study examines how practicing a capsule wardrobe can influence one’s creativity and how this daily activity can contribute to sustainability at the level of the individual users. The focus is on little-c creativity, which highlights everyday creativity practiced through everyday activities, such as dressing. Various capsule wardrobe projects that focus on voluntary simplicity are emerging in the U.S. This study begins with the premise that capsule wardrobes can provide individuals with an opportunity to enhance their creativity by experiencing a limited wardrobe. In addition, such a limited wardrobe could help contribute to a circular fashion economy by reducing the overconsumption of clothing. Seven female volunteers participated in the eight-week capsule wardrobe project. The multiple data collection methods included an online survey, creativity tests, in-depth interviews, and daily journals. In eight weeks, the participants learned about wardrobe strategies and developed innovative dressing habits through creating and managing their capsule wardrobes. The findings show that intrinsic motives, including satisfaction and enjoyment, play important roles in enhancing creativity. Moreover, this project helped the participants to recognize what to purchase, how to wear and care, and how to discard clothes, which can result in a reduction in thoughtless overspending on clothing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Sustainable Practices from Product to Consumer)
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Article
Who Uses Virtual Wardrobes? Investigating the Role of Consumer Traits in the Intention to Adopt Virtual Wardrobes
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1209; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031209 - 21 Jan 2022
Viewed by 654
Abstract
Over-consumption by consumers is a significant challenge to sustainability. Technology, such as that of virtual wardrobes, can suggest options that may reduce excessive consumption. A virtual wardrobe is a service that allows users to create and manage their wardrobes digitally. It also helps [...] Read more.
Over-consumption by consumers is a significant challenge to sustainability. Technology, such as that of virtual wardrobes, can suggest options that may reduce excessive consumption. A virtual wardrobe is a service that allows users to create and manage their wardrobes digitally. It also helps users to realize what they have in their wardrobes and can recommend appropriate styles of clothing for the users based on an analysis of the wardrobe. From the perspective of consumer characteristics, this research investigates what motivates consumers to adopt and use virtual wardrobes and proposes marketing strategies for addressing these behaviors. Fishbein’s attitude theory was used as a theoretical framework. By surveying 265 U.S. college students and using structural equation modeling analysis, the study shows that consumers’ socially responsible consumption behavior and personal innovativeness in information technology positively affect their attitude toward virtual wardrobes, which, in turn, increases their intention to use virtual wardrobes. However, their personal shopping value and fashion involvement have no significant impacts on consumers’ attitudes toward virtual wardrobes. The findings indicate that marketers of virtual wardrobes should highlight social responsibility and technological innovation in product and service promotions. By gaining insight into their wardrobes, consumers can be more strategic about clothing consumption, use, and disposal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Sustainable Practices from Product to Consumer)
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Article
Will Communication of Job Creation Facilitate Diffusion of Innovations in the Automobile Industry?
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010036 - 21 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1029
Abstract
The electrification and automation of vehicles are two upcoming trends in the automobile industry. However, these two new technologies also raise public concerns related to road safety, range, and, most crucially, job creation in the automotive and transportation industries. This study investigates if [...] Read more.
The electrification and automation of vehicles are two upcoming trends in the automobile industry. However, these two new technologies also raise public concerns related to road safety, range, and, most crucially, job creation in the automotive and transportation industries. This study investigates if job creation facilitates the diffusion of innovation. Analysis of 32,006 tweets from 33 global automobile manufacturers and their international job creation records revealed that communication of job creation can improve stakeholders’ adverse social media engagement on vehicle electrification and automation, the latest innovations in transportation and logistics. Car manufacturers should continually communicate their job creation achievements to gain public acceptance when introducing innovations, which may improve the diffusion of innovations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Sustainable Practices from Product to Consumer)
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Article
Examining the Relationship between Information Systems, Sustainable SCM, and Competitive Advantage
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11715; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111715 - 23 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
Sustainability, information systems (IS), and sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) are the main research areas of this study. In an era where environmental and social responsibility is becoming increasingly more important, SSCM is very significant for the survivability and competitiveness of organizations. Information [...] Read more.
Sustainability, information systems (IS), and sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) are the main research areas of this study. In an era where environmental and social responsibility is becoming increasingly more important, SSCM is very significant for the survivability and competitiveness of organizations. Information systems may facilitate sustainable practices, as they support supply chain processes, decrease costs, and enable the control and monitoring of operations. The aim of this research is to explore the relationship between information systems and SSCM and explain under what circumstances they could lead to competitive advantage or increase internal business performance. To analyze the above, the methodology comprises a literature review enabling the understanding and conceptualization of the main research constructs and revealing the gaps of previous research. It also comprises qualitative research based on a single-case study allowing an in-depth examination of the subject of study. The findings reveal that the use of information systems, combined with strong interorganizational relationships and collaboration, can support SSCM practices. They can bring important business advantages, such as improved business performance and increased customer loyalty, but not necessarily competitive advantage. The results of this research show that SSCM is a promising field of study, with prospects for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Sustainable Practices from Product to Consumer)
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Article
Sustainability Transparency and Trustworthiness of Traditional and Blockchain Ecolabels: A Comparison of Generations X and Y Consumers
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8469; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158469 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1908
Abstract
Consumers and professionals realize the importance of adopting social and environmental responsibility, but it is not easy for companies to implement transparent sustainability strategies that consumers can trust. Thus, it is often hard for consumers to compare brands to make conscious sustainability decisions. [...] Read more.
Consumers and professionals realize the importance of adopting social and environmental responsibility, but it is not easy for companies to implement transparent sustainability strategies that consumers can trust. Thus, it is often hard for consumers to compare brands to make conscious sustainability decisions. Blockchain technology is proposed as a bridge between ecolabels and industry initiatives as this technology provides the transparency of sustainable business practices. The objective of this study is to examine the effects of effectiveness, knowledge of the sustainability initiative, and trust in claims made by a company in ecolabels (i.e., traditional and blockchain ecolabels) on intention to buy products by comparing Generations X and Y. A total of 200 participants completed the survey. The results indicated that both the trust and knowledge measures were higher for the blockchain label than for the traditional ecolabel for Generation Y. Thus, the companies should determine how to effectively integrate this technology to the mutual benefit of the retailer and consumer by different generations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Sustainable Practices from Product to Consumer)
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