State of the art on the Nexus between sustainability, fashion industry and sustainable business model

TitleState of the art on the Nexus between sustainability, fashion industry and sustainable business model
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsDePonte C, Liscio MCiro, Sospiro P
JournalSustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy
KeywordsBest practice, Circular economy, Fashion, Sustainable business model

The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally impactful. It is estimated that about 9% of greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to this industry. It also turns out to be a highly resource-consuming industry with a rather low recycling rate. With this in mind, the authors wanted to further research the issue of sustainability in fashion. This was done with two main purposes: to update the literature to investigate the latest scientific contributions, to foster their application in sustainable business models; and to help define the state of the art on the topic by investigating the application of sustainable best practices in the market. The study is intended as a basis for future work that will focus on the topic of fashion sustainability and to support the adoption of sustainable business models by companies. This study analyses the fashion industry, particularly the textile, footwear, and leather industries, by searching the scientific literature and business cases for the current state of the art on recent best practices in process, product, and business strategies that have a positive impact on industry sustainability. A systematic literature review and business case research was conducted to identify best practices and gaps on areas of the fashion industry that can be catalysts for change toward a circular economy system based on sustainable business models. Policies and possible solutions to environmental problems related to the fashion industry were also considered. The study showed that there are many technologies, best practices and innovations that aim to make the fashion industry less impactful and, most importantly, circular. Therefore, some representative results for each of the three areas investigated are explored in depth, keeping in mind that there are the companies and sectors involved have sometimes unique peculiarities and characteristics, so it is not possible to have results equally applicable to each business model.