How Sustainable is the Fashion Industry? : A case study exploring the sustainable transformation of the fashion industry
Research Question: How can the concept of Greening Goliaths and Emerging Davids be applied to better understand the sustainabile transformation of the fashion industry?
Purpose: This paper sets out to analyze two approaches to sustainability within the fashion industry; A firm adopting CSR initiatives into their business strategy versus a sustainable brand. These approaches are explored within the framework of Greening Goliaths and Emerging Davids to recognize their contribution to the sustainable transformation of the fashion industry.
Method: A qualitative approach to our case study was taken in which we analyze and measure the Swedish fast fashion company, H&M and an American eco-friendly fashion label, Reformation. A semi-formal phone interview with an expert on sustainability in the fashion industry gave us further knowledge of how the two approaches can be combined for the industry to become more sustainable. A model was developed that aided the analysis as well as the discussion of the empirical findings.
Conclusion: Our conclusions found that the sustainable brand, Reformation can be categorized as an Emerging David and is in the Take-off stage. In order to gain a larger market share an contribute to the sustainable transformation of the industry Reformation will need to continue process innovation to lower their price point. H&M was initially categorized as a Greening Goliath however upon further analysis we believe they are shifting to become and Environmental David leading the sustainable transformation of the industry. In order for a sustainable transformation of the fashion industry there needs to be a co-evolution of both Greening Goliaths and Emerging Davids working together for a sustainable future.
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