Exploring the Establishment of a Local Textile Supply Chain in Italy
Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this study was to explore what strategic decisions an Italian apparel company has made to establish a sustainable and local supply chain. Furthermore, the obstacles that have emerged during the process were examined, and what strategies that have been used to face these. The study also explored the key success factors of the case company. The information was then compiled to create an overview on how companies can create a local supply chain and what can be avoided during this process. Design/methodology - The method used for the study was a deductive and qualitative study. Data was collected through semi structured e-mail interviews with an Italian apparel company. The data was then analyzed and compared to previous studies and results in order to create an understanding of the success factors and difficulties connected to establishing local supply chains. However, the study is not generalizable since it is conducted on a single case, it only provides an example, not the full picture of the industry. Therefore, the reliability regarding generalizability is low. Findings - The result of the study was that strategic decisions were carried out with the goal to create sustainable denim created through a local and ethical supply chain. Another strategic decision was to share knowledge about sustainable production to other sustainable entrepreneurs, which enables common growth towards sustainable development in the textile industry. The most important element to succeed and overcome obstacles was the passion and perseverance of the co-founders as well as previous experience and knowledge within the denim industry. An additional strategic decision and success factor was the chosen area in which the case company is located and operates in. The case company managed to avoid the challenges connected to lack of know-how within the European textile industry caused by globalization, due to the chosen region’s knowledge, tradition and infrastructure. Practical implications - The findings from the paper can be beneficial for sustainable entrepreneurs and companies relocating or starting up a local supply chain. The findings of the paper can be used to establish a local supply chain that focuses on sustainable production and contributes to responsible consumption and production within the textile industry. Originality/value - This study is original in finding key factors to establish a local supply chain and how to overcome obstacles faced during the process. It creates value for sustainable entrepreneurs and companies searching for alternative ways of production that focuses on sustainability.
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