Textile and recycling initiatives – A step towards a circular economy

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: In this study the reader will get an understanding for a new textile initiatives in the Swedish textile and clothing industry. The initiatives are about collecting garments with the aim of reusing and recycling the material. Furthermore, the textile initiatives will be linked with the concept of circular economy, which, among others, is an approach to a closed loop production system where no materials go to waste. The thesis begins with a background and an overview of the existing textile and clothing industry in Sweden, where some advantages and disadvantages from a growing industry will be highlighted. To examine the new textile initiatives we have chosen three different companies that are planning to implement the initiatives in their businesses. We have also chosen to interview a person about the concept of circular economy, how it can be related to the industry and a second person about an industry initiative that promotes a national collection of garments. The study consists of a qualitative and an inductive approach. The focus is on primary data where the interviews are the main source. Furthermore, the fundamental idea with the study is to analyze the chosen companies’ business models from a sustainability point of view, where the textile recycling initiatives can be included as a step towards a sustainable business model. In the theory section we have chosen to present conceptual theories about the waste hierarchy, the concept of circular economy and sustainable business models, which are key areas in the study. The framework of analysis will be introduced as a help to structure the analysis. This is followed by a section of empirical findings, which consist of an assembly of the five research interviews. In the analysis section, the reader will follow how the companies’ textile initiatives can be connected to a sustainable business model. The analysis also contains a comparison of the theory, the empirical findings, combined with personal reflections which will lead to a final discussion. The conclusion is that the chosen textile companies are in the progress of implementing business models for a sustainable development. More companies in the industry should include recycling initiatives to achieve that. A change in the legislation system is required to make the implementation of initiatives economic profitable.

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