Fashion is undoubtedly one of the biggest industries in the world for economic impact; however, especially in the case of Italy - where it is considered one the three “Fs” of Made in Italy - what really characterises the sector is its social and cultural value: indeed, since the 1950s, Italian fashion has become synonymous with high-quality, craftsmanship, innovation and beauty, loved and recognised all over the world. Nevertheless, the industry has also proven to be extremely unsustainable, with its prevailing linear model promoting the overproduction and overconsumption of cheap clothing at low prices, created with little consideration for the social and environmental implications of such exploitation. So, it is obvious how urgent and immediate actions, particularly in Italy, where the fashion industry has been found to be lagging behind other sectors, are needed. Therefore, the main purpose of this dissertation, which is structured in four chapters, will be exploring the relationship between fashion and sustainability, from both a theoretical and empirical point of view, by firstly illustrating an analysis of current literature for then contextualising this relationship by presenting the impact the industry has on both people and the planet and the main actions that are being implemented to mitigate it (with a particular focus on the Italian situation). The first chapter presents a bibliometric analysis based on a database of 574 documents extracted from Scopus, highlighting the most relevant characteristics of the research constituents, their intellectual interactions and structural connections. Moreover, since it has been deemed to be the most effective way to identify the most relevant topics discussed by past literature, a considerable part of the chapter deals with the co-citation analysis, drawing attention to central themes – consumers’ attitude-behaviour gap when it comes to sustainable clothing consumption, slow fashion, the role of luxury brands in fostering sustainability, the opportunities and challenges of sustainable fashion supply chain management and the emergence of new business models. The second chapter investigates the current state of the fashion industry placing a focus on Italy and its peculiarities, represented by the reality of industrial districts and Made in Italy. The third chapter provides up-to-date information on the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry, and it illustrates possible measures for reducing it, in line with the need for a structural and systematic change. Of particular interest is the exploration of the significant positive impact on “Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production” (one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals) of accelerating the much-needed transition towards circular economy. The latter refers to a restorative and regenerative economic system that could bring many environmental and social benefits, other than representing a significant opportunity for economic growth. In the fourth chapter, an empirical analysis of the sustainability performance of Italian fashion businesses is illustrated. A novel content analysis methodology based on the term frequency – inverse document frequency (TF-IDF) weighting scheme has been adopted, since this method allows summarising in an index the presence and degree of discussion about sustainability on companies’ websites. This approach is particularly useful for executing descriptive analysis (highlighting the link between sustainability and spatial distribution of firms) and for making considerations about the businesses' real commitment to a greener, fairer future.

Fashion is undoubtedly one of the biggest industries in the world for economic impact; however, especially in the case of Italy - where it is considered one the three “Fs” of Made in Italy - what really characterises the sector is its social and cultural value: indeed, since the 1950s, Italian fashion has become synonymous with high-quality, craftsmanship, innovation and beauty, loved and recognised all over the world. Nevertheless, the industry has also proven to be extremely unsustainable, with its prevailing linear model promoting the overproduction and overconsumption of cheap clothing at low prices, created with little consideration for the social and environmental implications of such exploitation. So, it is obvious how urgent and immediate actions, particularly in Italy, where the fashion industry has been found to be lagging behind other sectors, are needed. Therefore, the main purpose of this dissertation, which is structured in four chapters, will be exploring the relationship between fashion and sustainability, from both a theoretical and empirical point of view, by firstly illustrating an analysis of current literature for then contextualising this relationship by presenting the impact the industry has on both people and the planet and the main actions that are being implemented to mitigate it (with a particular focus on the Italian situation). The first chapter presents a bibliometric analysis based on a database of 574 documents extracted from Scopus, highlighting the most relevant characteristics of the research constituents, their intellectual interactions and structural connections. Moreover, since it has been deemed to be the most effective way to identify the most relevant topics discussed by past literature, a considerable part of the chapter deals with the co-citation analysis, drawing attention to central themes – consumers’ attitude-behaviour gap when it comes to sustainable clothing consumption, slow fashion, the role of luxury brands in fostering sustainability, the opportunities and challenges of sustainable fashion supply chain management and the emergence of new business models. The second chapter investigates the current state of the fashion industry placing a focus on Italy and its peculiarities, represented by the reality of industrial districts and Made in Italy. The third chapter provides up-to-date information on the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry, and it illustrates possible measures for reducing it, in line with the need for a structural and systematic change. Of particular interest is the exploration of the significant positive impact on “Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production” (one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals) of accelerating the much-needed transition towards circular economy. The latter refers to a restorative and regenerative economic system that could bring many environmental and social benefits, other than representing a significant opportunity for economic growth. In the fourth chapter, an empirical analysis of the sustainability performance of Italian fashion businesses is illustrated. A novel content analysis methodology based on the term frequency – inverse document frequency (TF-IDF) weighting scheme has been adopted, since this method allows summarising in an index the presence and degree of discussion about sustainability on companies’ websites. This approach is particularly useful for executing descriptive analysis (highlighting the link between sustainability and spatial distribution of firms) and for making considerations about the businesses' real commitment to a greener, fairer future.

"Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last": Exploring the Relationship between Fashion and Sustainability

PELLEGRIN, VANESSA
2022/2023

Abstract

Fashion is undoubtedly one of the biggest industries in the world for economic impact; however, especially in the case of Italy - where it is considered one the three “Fs” of Made in Italy - what really characterises the sector is its social and cultural value: indeed, since the 1950s, Italian fashion has become synonymous with high-quality, craftsmanship, innovation and beauty, loved and recognised all over the world. Nevertheless, the industry has also proven to be extremely unsustainable, with its prevailing linear model promoting the overproduction and overconsumption of cheap clothing at low prices, created with little consideration for the social and environmental implications of such exploitation. So, it is obvious how urgent and immediate actions, particularly in Italy, where the fashion industry has been found to be lagging behind other sectors, are needed. Therefore, the main purpose of this dissertation, which is structured in four chapters, will be exploring the relationship between fashion and sustainability, from both a theoretical and empirical point of view, by firstly illustrating an analysis of current literature for then contextualising this relationship by presenting the impact the industry has on both people and the planet and the main actions that are being implemented to mitigate it (with a particular focus on the Italian situation). The first chapter presents a bibliometric analysis based on a database of 574 documents extracted from Scopus, highlighting the most relevant characteristics of the research constituents, their intellectual interactions and structural connections. Moreover, since it has been deemed to be the most effective way to identify the most relevant topics discussed by past literature, a considerable part of the chapter deals with the co-citation analysis, drawing attention to central themes – consumers’ attitude-behaviour gap when it comes to sustainable clothing consumption, slow fashion, the role of luxury brands in fostering sustainability, the opportunities and challenges of sustainable fashion supply chain management and the emergence of new business models. The second chapter investigates the current state of the fashion industry placing a focus on Italy and its peculiarities, represented by the reality of industrial districts and Made in Italy. The third chapter provides up-to-date information on the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry, and it illustrates possible measures for reducing it, in line with the need for a structural and systematic change. Of particular interest is the exploration of the significant positive impact on “Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production” (one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals) of accelerating the much-needed transition towards circular economy. The latter refers to a restorative and regenerative economic system that could bring many environmental and social benefits, other than representing a significant opportunity for economic growth. In the fourth chapter, an empirical analysis of the sustainability performance of Italian fashion businesses is illustrated. A novel content analysis methodology based on the term frequency – inverse document frequency (TF-IDF) weighting scheme has been adopted, since this method allows summarising in an index the presence and degree of discussion about sustainability on companies’ websites. This approach is particularly useful for executing descriptive analysis (highlighting the link between sustainability and spatial distribution of firms) and for making considerations about the businesses' real commitment to a greener, fairer future.
2022
"Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last": Exploring the Relationship between Fashion and Sustainability
Fashion is undoubtedly one of the biggest industries in the world for economic impact; however, especially in the case of Italy - where it is considered one the three “Fs” of Made in Italy - what really characterises the sector is its social and cultural value: indeed, since the 1950s, Italian fashion has become synonymous with high-quality, craftsmanship, innovation and beauty, loved and recognised all over the world. Nevertheless, the industry has also proven to be extremely unsustainable, with its prevailing linear model promoting the overproduction and overconsumption of cheap clothing at low prices, created with little consideration for the social and environmental implications of such exploitation. So, it is obvious how urgent and immediate actions, particularly in Italy, where the fashion industry has been found to be lagging behind other sectors, are needed. Therefore, the main purpose of this dissertation, which is structured in four chapters, will be exploring the relationship between fashion and sustainability, from both a theoretical and empirical point of view, by firstly illustrating an analysis of current literature for then contextualising this relationship by presenting the impact the industry has on both people and the planet and the main actions that are being implemented to mitigate it (with a particular focus on the Italian situation). The first chapter presents a bibliometric analysis based on a database of 574 documents extracted from Scopus, highlighting the most relevant characteristics of the research constituents, their intellectual interactions and structural connections. Moreover, since it has been deemed to be the most effective way to identify the most relevant topics discussed by past literature, a considerable part of the chapter deals with the co-citation analysis, drawing attention to central themes – consumers’ attitude-behaviour gap when it comes to sustainable clothing consumption, slow fashion, the role of luxury brands in fostering sustainability, the opportunities and challenges of sustainable fashion supply chain management and the emergence of new business models. The second chapter investigates the current state of the fashion industry placing a focus on Italy and its peculiarities, represented by the reality of industrial districts and Made in Italy. The third chapter provides up-to-date information on the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry, and it illustrates possible measures for reducing it, in line with the need for a structural and systematic change. Of particular interest is the exploration of the significant positive impact on “Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production” (one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals) of accelerating the much-needed transition towards circular economy. The latter refers to a restorative and regenerative economic system that could bring many environmental and social benefits, other than representing a significant opportunity for economic growth. In the fourth chapter, an empirical analysis of the sustainability performance of Italian fashion businesses is illustrated. A novel content analysis methodology based on the term frequency – inverse document frequency (TF-IDF) weighting scheme has been adopted, since this method allows summarising in an index the presence and degree of discussion about sustainability on companies’ websites. This approach is particularly useful for executing descriptive analysis (highlighting the link between sustainability and spatial distribution of firms) and for making considerations about the businesses' real commitment to a greener, fairer future.
Fashion
Sustainability
Italy
Fashion Industry
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12608/43606