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Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2050-0742
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0750



The circular economy is promoted as an innovation and growth model for a garment industry widely understood to be wasteful, polluting and ripe for change. There is a growing body of knowledge related to sustainability, design, eco-innovation and business; there is, however, a scarcity of material that examines all subjects as they relate to the garment industry. There exists, in both literature and practice, a conceptual gap between the commercial viewpoint and established thinking around sustainable practices. There is a lack of research investigating operations management, buying and merchandising roles in apparel product development. Understanding the influence of these functional roles is crucial in developing strategies for closing the gap between commercial and environmentally sustainable practices and bringing innovations to market. Investment in sustainability-related knowledge and capabilities within firms is needed. Reconsidering the role of fashion designers, expanding their training and elevating them to process-leading problem-solvers could unlock new sources of value within the industry.


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