An Analysis on Developing a Common CSR Labeling System in the Fashion Industry

University essay from Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi

Abstract:

The negative impact of the fashion industry on both society and environment cannot be ignored, especially in recent years, due to news and reports on the negative impacts of the industry has raised awareness among consumers. Some of the consumers started questioning the fashion companies’ operations and demand for more sustainable supply chains. In order to respond the request coming from consumers’ side, the companies started to regulate their operations and communicate about them. Even though there are many different ways to communicate about sustainability approach, This study is questioning the potential outcomes of developing a common CSR label based on Higg Index 2.0 tool. To answer the research question, existing literature has analyzed from three different perspectives; social and environmental problems led by the industry and raising consumer awareness about negative impact of the industry. After the literature review, CSR communication approaches of the selected companies were analyzed. The second step of the research was, to apply a consumer survey in the Gothenburg Central Station to understand Swedish consumers’ perception. Outcomes of the consumer survey has compared with the existing literature and communication strategies followed by the analyses of selected companies.The company analyzes show that, even though, they are good at about regulating their supply chain with more sustainable approaches, the majority of fashion companies do not communicate about their CSR practices. Consumer survey expose that, consumers are lack of awareness regarding to existed CSR labels. Moreover, even though exist labels focus on only environmental factors or social factors, the consumers expect from labels to cover both areas. The data collected from the study expose that, even the majority of the consumer not completely influenced by the sustainability approach of the companies, there are consumers that influence by the companies CSR approach. Moreover, the lion share of consumers believes that a common labeling system based on Higg Index 2.0 will be helpful guide when they give their purchasing decision. Based on the findings from existed literature -consumer survey and analyze of companiesapproach-, it was observed that companies are lack of effective communication strategies which is a barrier for the consumers to get an action for to purchase more sustainable fashion products. Therefore, developing a common CSR labeling system that will controlled by third party institution such as Sustainable Apparel Coalition will increase the effectiveness of CSR label and influence the consumers response positively.

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