Sustainable supply chain management of clothing industry—current policy landscape and roles and limitation of multi-stakeholder initiatives

Dominika Machek, Caroline Heinz, Naoko Tojo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterpeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


High environmental and social impacts arisen from long and complicated global supply chain of clothing industry has been long recognized. However, a thorough review of the sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) policy development pertaining to clothing industry at the EU level indicates that legislative measures specifically addressing SSCM of clothing industry is currently lacking. Multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) emerged as a non-legislative governance measure engaging various stakeholders, and its role to fill in the governance gap has been highlighted in, among others, the global supply chains of clothing industry. Interviews with nine Swedish brand representatives participating in three selected MSIs—Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Sweden Textile Water Initiative and Textile Exchange—on one hand elucidate tangible contributions of the three case MSIs to the brands’ SSCM measures. We meanwhile also observe the trend of various MSIs to consolidate their efforts and harmonise their activities, and that the discourse within the MSIs tend to be dominated by a few large brands. The outcome of such discourse, such as standards which in light of current lack of legislative measures could serve as default global standards, may become a suboptimal compromise from sustainability standpoint. The paper closes with potential future way forward to enhance sustainability of clothing supply chain.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcoDesign and Sustainability I
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameSustainable Production, Life Cycle Engineering and Management
ISSN (Print)2194-0541
ISSN (Electronic)2194-055X

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Brand’s perception
  • Clothing industry
  • EU
  • Government interventions
  • Multi-stakeholder initiative (MSI)
  • Privatisation of standards
  • Sustainable supply chain management (SSCM)
  • Sweden
  • Textiles


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