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Special Issue "Sustainability in Fashion Brands"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (19 April 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Margherita Pero
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Guest Editor
Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, 32, 20133 Milano MI, Italy
Interests: The interdependencies between supply chain and business models; Production planning; Supply chain design and management; Supply chain management-new product development coordination
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Elisa Arrigo
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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Economia, Metodi Quantitativi e Strategie d'Impresa, Università degli Studi Milano Bicocca, Milano, Italy
Interests: fashion and luxury brand management; sustainability; global marketing
Prof. Dr. Antoinette Fionda-Douglas
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Guest Editor
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK
Interests: luxury brands; sustainable brands; global marketing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today’s society is faced with the challenge of reducing the impact of human activities on natural processes and the consumption of natural resources by manufacturing processes. The fashion industry is one of the most labour-intensive industries, and it significantly impacts both the environment and society. For example, 35% of material input at fashion supply chains ends up as waste, while only 1% of materials used to produce clothing is actually recycled (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017). However, there is a growing request of customers for environmentally and socially responsible services and products. Fashion brands must therefore take action towards environmental and ethical considerations. To this aim, they must reshape their supply chains, from raw material producers to retailers, and find new ways to meet the needs of environmentally-conscious customers and provide sustainable products to increase customers’ attention towards sustainable-related issues. The fashion industry is slowly recognizing its social, environmental, and economic responsibilities as well as its opportunities to support sustainability policies in sourcing, manufacturing, and marketing. By implementing sustainable marketing policies, fashion companies can support good causes and improve their customer–brand relationships by reducing the consumption of natural resources and pursuing sustainable development.

With the aim of opening up the debate on how fashion brands can tackle these issues, in this Special Issue, we aim to publish state-of-the-art research concerning sustainability in fashion brands. We encourage submissions discussing the results of real-life applications of sustainable solutions into fashion companies to show the feasibility of sustainable approaches, and on (but not exclusively) as well as research on sustainable supply chain management in the fashion industry, the measurement of sustainable performance in fashion supply chains and fashion brands, the presence of a circular economy in the fashion industry, the alignment of design and sustainable supply chain management in fashion brands, the development of sustainable marketing policies, and the management of knowledge and innovation as drivers of economic, social, and environmental sustainability in fashion brands.

Prof. Dr. Margherita Pero
Prof. Dr. Elisa Arrigo
Prof. Dr. Antoinette Fionda-Douglas
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 papers will be 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

  • sustainable supply chain management in fashion industry
  • circular economy in fashion industry
  • aligning design and sustainable supply chain management in fashion brands
  • measuring sustainable performance in fashion supply chains
  • sustainable business models in the fashion industry
  • sustainability in fashion companies
  • sustainability and marketing in fashion brands
  • knowledge management for sustainability in fashion brands
  • innovation management for sustainability in fashion brands
  • ethical fashion management
  • transparent fashion management
  • sustainable design

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Sustainability in Fashion Brands
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5843; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145843 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 2520
Abstract
This preview article introduces the Special Issue on “Sustainability in Fashion Brands” and presents a summary of the research. This editorial will highlight the contents and methodologies of selected papers, presenting diverse issues in sustainable fashion strategies and management. The authors conclude with [...] Read more.
This preview article introduces the Special Issue on “Sustainability in Fashion Brands” and presents a summary of the research. This editorial will highlight the contents and methodologies of selected papers, presenting diverse issues in sustainable fashion strategies and management. The authors conclude with a special thank you to the authors, reviewers, and the editor-in-chief for their roles in the preparation of the special issue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Brands)

Research

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Article
A Mixed-Method Study of Design Practices and Designers’ Roles in Sustainable-Minded Clothing Companies
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4680; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114680 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2750
Abstract
The way in which the current fashion industry operates needs to fundamentally change. In this endeavour, designers are considered central figures throughout the sustainable fashion literature. However, too little is known about clothing designers’ practical contributions to sustainability. Therefore, this study investigates how [...] Read more.
The way in which the current fashion industry operates needs to fundamentally change. In this endeavour, designers are considered central figures throughout the sustainable fashion literature. However, too little is known about clothing designers’ practical contributions to sustainability. Therefore, this study investigates how sustainability is integrated into design practices in sustainable-minded clothing companies and determines the role of clothing designers in this respect. A mixed-method study was conducted based on a sequential exploratory strategy. The data were collected in two stages: a preliminary phase based on five expert interviews and a survey phase, which involved 31 clothing designers from around Europe. The data analysis was also divided into two phases: thematic analysis of the interviews and content analysis of the survey. The findings indicate that the sustainable design practices within these companies predominantly focus on material choices and aspects that support product longevity. Yet, there is little empirical evidence to support claims regarding garments’ true longevity. Knowledge regarding materials, recycling and best practices is also lacking among clothing designers. Lack of knowledge and company strategies frequently dictate and restrict the design work. This further highlights the fact that designers’ opportunities to influence environmental and social change are more limited than earlier literature suggests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Brands)
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Article
Supply Chain Collaboration for Transparency
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4429; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114429 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3158
Abstract
From an interdisciplinary theoretical perspective, this study uncovers how and to what extent building supply chain relations impacts supply chain transparency in an industrial context characterized by mistrust, complexity and privacy. By conducting a case study involving a multinational fashion group and an [...] Read more.
From an interdisciplinary theoretical perspective, this study uncovers how and to what extent building supply chain relations impacts supply chain transparency in an industrial context characterized by mistrust, complexity and privacy. By conducting a case study involving a multinational fashion group and an influential NGO, this study investigates how a fashion group forms supply chain relations that eventually influence their transparency performance. The fashion group under investigation initially started disclosing information about their supply chain actions in order to ensure legitimacy and protect the brand image. Nevertheless, the group started sharing more information about their supply chains, changing the perspective from a legitimacy driven reactive approach toward an ethics driven proactive approach. Particularly, supplier engagement, commitment and leadership appear to be antecedents to supply chain transparency. The study also reveals the novel influence of NGOs on supply chain transparency. Fashion Revolution has been substantial to drive fashion companies to obtain and disclose information about their supply chains. Supply chain visibility and stronger partnerships are required to overcome problems relating to supply chain complexity on the way toward transparency. Results suggest that supply chain engagement is fundamental for supply chain transparency, and that NGOs play a pivotal role to enhance transparency through knowledge sharing and awareness increasing. The results provide numerous implications that can help industrial practice and research improve the status quo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Brands)
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Article
Reporting Sustainability in China: Evidence from the Global Powers of Luxury Goods
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3940; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093940 - 11 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1951
Abstract
In this study, we investigated sustainability reporting practices adopted by the ‘Global Power of Luxury Goods 2019’, which are the top 100 companies operating in the luxury sector listed by Deloitte. The analysis firstly focused on exploring sustainability disclosure and reporting practices, moving [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated sustainability reporting practices adopted by the ‘Global Power of Luxury Goods 2019’, which are the top 100 companies operating in the luxury sector listed by Deloitte. The analysis firstly focused on exploring sustainability disclosure and reporting practices, moving then to the examination of China-specific sustainability initiatives according to the Global Reporting Initiative(GRI) standards categories: Economic, environmental, and social. Adopting a theoretical perspective based on elements of institutional theory and stakeholder theory, we highlight how the development of sustainability reports by companies in the luxury sector is still a limited practice involving larger companies that have already invested in the implementation of sustainability strategies. The findings reveal how the reporting of China-specific sustainability initiatives is influenced by a set of factors such as company dimensions, company nationality, the management of the supply chain and operation in China, and the direct reference to China as a key market in terms of revenues. Finally, a cluster analysis shows how companies belonging to different relevant markets for the luxury sector demonstrate different homogeneous approaches by geographical area (isomorphism), with French and Chinese companies more engaged in reporting their sustainability initiatives in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Brands)
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Article
Trends in the Fashion Industry. The Perception of Sustainability and Circular Economy: A Gender/Generation Quantitative Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2809; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072809 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 19131
Abstract
The significant changes which have occurred in the competitive scenario in which fashion companies operate, combined with deep transformation in the lifestyles of final consumers, translate into the need to redefine the business models. Starting from a general overview of the emerging trends [...] Read more.
The significant changes which have occurred in the competitive scenario in which fashion companies operate, combined with deep transformation in the lifestyles of final consumers, translate into the need to redefine the business models. Starting from a general overview of the emerging trends today affecting the fashion industry, the paper will devote particular attention to the analysis of the most important phenomena that are influencing this market and the drivers for long-lasting competitiveness: sustainability and attention to the so-called circular economy. According to the literature, from the consumer behavior’s point of view, the younger generations are paying growing attention to these issues. In light of these considerations, this paper aimed to analyze how sustainability and circular economy principles are influencing the perception of the fashion world among the new generations of consumers. After mapping the emerging trends in the fashion industry and analyzing the role of sustainability from both the demand and supply side, this paper presents the results of a survey conducted through an anonymous questionnaire made in collaboration with Insubria University. The results of the survey describe the students’ behaviour as regards fashion’s emerging trends, with particular attention to sustainability issues and the application of circular economy principles. The survey results were analyzed from both a descriptive and quantitative point of view with the aim to check the different perceptions as regards sustainable fashion and circular economy in fashion, focusing mainly on the so-called Generation Z. The results of the analysis proved to be consistent with the theoretical framework and confirm the relevance of sustainability issues in the fashion industry today in driving the demand of Generation Z, by considering a gender perspective. Moreover, the circular economy is descriptively analyzed with the aim to understand the relevance of the different facets for the entire sample of respondents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Brands)
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Article
Doing More on the Corporate Sustainability Front: A Longitudinal Analysis of CSR Reporting of Global Fashion Companies
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2477; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062477 - 21 Mar 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3505
Abstract
The fashion industry has been under the spotlight in recent years due to its negative social and environmental impacts. However, there is limited literature on how companies in the fashion industry communicate their corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. This study aims to present [...] Read more.
The fashion industry has been under the spotlight in recent years due to its negative social and environmental impacts. However, there is limited literature on how companies in the fashion industry communicate their corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. This study aims to present a full picture of the paradigm of CSR reporting in the fashion industry by revealing the changes in CSR reporting practices and identifying the possible reasons behind the change. Content analysis was employed to investigate 12 global fashion companies’ 43 CSR reports from 2013 to 2016. Findings showed that more comprehensive CSR reporting was practiced in the fashion industry to meet stakeholders’ expectations. The reporting of 16 CSR issues experienced a rise. Labor and environmental issues were predominant in the reports while more attention was given to human rights, human development and training, and sustainable resource use. A growing use of a proactive approach in reporting environmental issues was also witnessed. This study is the first to offer insights into how global fashion corporations communicate their CSR practices via CSR reports and provides useful information about CSR strategies, practices and reporting in the fashion industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Brands)
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