This case study focuses on a UK-based designer knitwear manufacturer and retailer, involved in global outsourcing and retailing activities of own-brand products as well as contract manufacturing for other fashion brands.
The case analyses the high environmental impact of the fashion industry, in terms of its carbon, water and waste footprint. It is under increased pressure from various stakeholders to balance the triple bottom line (TBL); environmental, social and economic needs.
The case study highlights the difficulties in managing global supply chains when it comes to corporate social responsibility and protecting workers' interests. It also illustrates how a region's labour laws and historical relationships with Western clients can embed the importance of ethical behaviour alongside modern cost and lead time cutting demands.
The authors examine globally dispersed fashion supply chains which have potentially negative impacts for people and the planet. It highlights the fact that for fashion businesses, it's a challenge to incorporate sustainability when the critical success factors are cost efficiency and effectiveness.
Aimed at students on logistics, supply chain management and fashion courses, readers are provided with tools and ideas for sustainability and presented with questions about challenges to the fashion industry as well as some interesting suggested solutions.
Dr Patsy Perry is a Lecturer in Fashion Marketing in the School of Materials at The University of Manchester. Her research interests include Corporate Social Responsibility in fashion supply chains and she has published a number of book chapters and academic journal papers in this area.
Dr Mohamed Abdel-Wahab is a Lecturer in Construction Technology at Heriot-Watt University. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design and has published extensively on construction skills and training issues, including the link between skills/training and performance, skills policy, implication of new technologies for skills development and training, and the facilitation of learning from construction practice.