Project: Redesigning Global Value Chain in Apparel industry

In collaboration with Hogeschool Rotterdam we explore the landscape of Fashion, identifying factors that drive sustainable, restorative and regenerative practices in the global value chain of Apparel industry.

The apparel industry, aka as fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Challenges are multifold: overproduction, waste, labour conditions, raw materials, chemicals, water use, supply chains to name a few. 2020 was the year that everything changed. The COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions in this industry. Huge drops in sales, disruptions in supply chains and changing consumer behaviour. The impact of COVID-19 has shown the extend of the sustainable ‘wicked’ problems this industry is facing, impacting businesses world-wide.

This research will explore these ‘wicked’ problems from a global value chain perspective, with specific focus on the value chain segments logistics and sourcing as well as marketing, sales and branding. What are factors that will drive change towards a sustainable, restorative and regenerative value chain? Which actors and stakeholders are involved? Which factors will enable change in practices?

The aim of this explorative research is to get a better understanding of the social, environmental and economic issues and its wider context. Mapping the system through a Systems Thinking approach of the Apparel value chain will enable a deep understanding of these complex problems, discovering the levers for positive change thus creating a foundation for driving transformational change.

Different research activities will take place:

  • Pilot joint research project with Hogeschool Rotterdam and Avans, aimed at developing a critical reflection and a deep understanding of the wicked problem (including for example, the mindsets and behaviors that contribute to generate them, the potential scenarios to solve them etc.) and possible intervention for the wicked problem at hand.
  • Learning Community AMIB CE-IB Futures: Redesigning Global Value Chains in disruptive times, scenario development for 2035
  • Joint research projects focusing on return logistics, new business models and consumer behaviour.