Research Article

Economic and environmental sustainability dimensions of a fashion supply chain: A quantitative model

Eleonora Bottani; Letizia Tebaldi; Isabella Lazzari; Giorgia Casella

Downloads: 1
Views: 39


Abstract: Paper aim: The paper presents a model to assess the economic and the environmental sustainability dimensions of a fashion supply chain and tests it on a company.

Originality: The gap intended to fill is the lack of models in this context having this purpose, and, in general, the necessity to develop models and metrics allowing to quantitatively assess the economic and environmental dimensions of supply chains.

Research method: The fashion supply chain has been divided into five processes. Hence, an analytic model was developed by considering the total costs incurring in each process (economic evaluation), and the annual kilograms of CO2 emitted (environmental perspective). The model was then applied to a case study. Data was obtained from interviews with the management.

Main findings: Results show that from the economic perspective supply impacts the most, while from the environmental one the most polluting activity is production.

Implications for theory and practice: The model is easy to apply and to understand and allows to identify the activities in the supply chain where the majority of costs/emissions are generated. It is therefore expected to be useful for undertaking operational decisions aimed at decreasing the economic or environmental impact of a fashion supply chain.


Textile industry, Case study, Sustainable supply chain, Analytic model


Aloise, P. G., & Macke, J. (2017). Eco-innovations in developing countries: The case of Manaus Free Trade Zone (Brazil). Journal of Cleaner Production, 168, 30-38.

Amindoust, A., & Saghafinia, A. (2017). Textile supplier selection in sustainable supply chain using a modular fuzzy inference system model. Journal of the Textile Institute, 108(3), 1250-1258.

Azevedo, V. G., Portela Santos, A. A., & Souza Campos, L. M. (2016). Corporate sustainability and asset pricing models: empirical evidence for the Brazilian stock market. Production, 26(3), 516-526.

Babu, S., & Mohan, U. (2018). An integrated approach to evaluating sustainability in supply chains using evolutionary game theory. Computers & Operations Research, 89, 269-283.

Beh, L.-S., Ghobadian, A., He, Q., Gallear, D., & O’Regan, N. (2016). Second-life retailing: A reverse supply chain perspective. Supply Chain Management, 21(2), 259-272.

Bhattacharjee, S., & Cruz, J. (2015). Economic sustainability of closed loop supply chains: A holistic model for decision and policy analysis. Decision Support Systems, 77, 67-86.

Boström, M., & Micheletti, M. (2016). Introducing the sustainability challenge of textiles and clothing. Journal of Consumer Policy, 39(4), 367-375.

Bottani, E., Rizzi, A., & Vignali, G. (2015). Improving logistics efficiency of industrial districts: A framework and case study in the food sector. International Journal of Logistics: Research and Application, 18(5), 402-423.

Bottani, E., Tebaldi, L., Lazzari, I., & Casella, G. (2019, August). A model for assessing economic and environmental sustainability dimensions of a fashion supply chain and a case study. In 9th IFAC Conference on Manufacturing Modeling, Management, and Control. Berlin, Germany.

Bottani, E., Gentilotti, M. C., & Rinaldi, M. (2017). A fuzzy logic-based tool for the assessment of corporate sustainability: A case study in the food machinery industry. Sustainability, 9(4), 583.

Capone, R., El Bilali, H., & Bottalico, F. (2016). Assessing the sustainability of typical agro-food products: Insights from Apulia Region, Italy. New Medit, 1, 28-35.

Chen, Z., & Andresen, S. (2014). A multiobjective optimization model of production-sourcing for sustainable supply chain with consideration of social, environmental, and economic factors. Mathematical Problems in Engineering, 2014, 1-11.

Choi, T.-M., Cai, Y.-J., & Shen, B. (2018). Sustainable fashion supply chain management: A system of systems analysis. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management

Colla, V., Branca, T., Vannucci, M., Fornai, B., & Amato, A. (2008, April 24-25). Quantitative sustainability assessment through key performance indicators in ULCOS project. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Seminar on Society & Materials (SAM2). Nantes, France.

Colombo, C. R., & Alves, A. C. (2017). Sustainability in engineering programs in a Portuguese Public University. Production, 27(spe), 1-16.

Denuwara, N., Maijala, J., & Hakovirta, M. (2019). Sustainability benefits of RFID technology in the apparel industry. Sustainability, 11(22), 6477.

Desore, A., & Narula, S. A. (2018). An overview on corporate response towards sustainability issues in textile industry. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 20(4), 1439-1459.

Elhedhli, S., & Merrik, R. (2012). Green supply chain network design to reduce carbon emissions. Transportation Research Part D, Transport and Environment, 17(5), 370-379.

Elkington, J. (2004). Enter the triple bottom line. In: A. Henriques & J. Richardson. The Triple Bottom Line - Does it all add up? (pp. 23-38). London: Earthscan.

Eren, S., Avinc, O., Saka, Z., & Eren, H. A. (2018). Waterless bleaching of knitted cotton fabric using supercritical carbon dioxide fluid technology. Cellulose (London, England), 25(10), 6247-6267.

Fichtinger, J., Ries, J., Grosse, E., & Baker, P. (2015). Assessing the environmental impact of integrated inventory and warehouse management. International Journal of Production Economics, 170, 717-729.

Hou, G., Wang, Y., & Xin, B. (2019). A coordinated strategy for sustainable supply chain management with product sustainability, environmental effect and social reputation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 228, 1143-1156.

Hussain, T., & Wahab, A. (2018). A critical review of the current water conservation practices in textile wet processing. Journal of Cleaner Production, 198, 806-819.

Iannone, R., Martino, G., Miranda, S., & Riemma, S. (2015). Modeling fashion retail supply chain through causal loop diagram. IFAC-PapersOnLine, 48(3), 1290-1295.

Karaosman, H., Morales-Alonso, G., & Brun, A. (2016). From a systematic literature review to a classification framework: sustainability integration in fashion operations. Sustainability, 9(30), 30.

Kates, R., Clark, W., Corell, R., Hall, M., Jaeger, C., Lowe, I., McCarthy, J., Schellnhuber, H., Bolin, B., Dickson, N., Faucheux, S., Gallopin, G. C., Grübler, A., Huntley, B., Jäger, J., Jodha, N. S., Kasperson, R. E., Mabogunje, A., Matson, P., Mooney, H., Moore, B. 3rd, O’Riordan, T., & Svedlin, U. (2001). Environment and development. Sustainability science. Science, 292(5517), 641-642. PMid:11330321.

L’Inkiesta (2017). Trasportare merci in aereo? Emette CO2 cento volte più che farlo su grandi navi. Retrieved in 1 July 2019, from

Lewis, T. L., Park, H., Netravali, A. N., & Trejo, H. X. (2017). Closing the loop: A scalable zero-waste model for apparel reuse and recycling. International Journal of Fashion Design. Technology and Education, 10(3), 353-362.

Mota, B., Gomes, M. I., Carvalho, A., & Barbosa-Povoa, A. P. (2015). Towards supply chain sustainability: economic, environmental and social design and planning. Journal of Cleaner Production, 105, 14-27.

Oelze, N., Brandenburg, M., Jansen, C., & Warasthe, R. (2018). Applying sustainable supply chain management frameworks to two german case studies. IFAC-PapersOnLine, 51(30), 293-296.

Palak, G., Ekşioğlu, S. D., & Geunes, J. (2014). Analyzing the impacts of carbon regulatory mechanisms on supplier and mode selection decisions: an application to a biofuel supply chain. International Journal of Production Economics, 154, 198-216.

Quattroruote (2017). Consumi ed emissioni: i dati aggiornati e tutto ciò che c’è da sapere. Retrieved in 1 July 2019, fromù.html.

Radhakrishnan, S. (2017). Sustainable cotton production. In S. S. Muthu. Sustainable fibres and textiles (pp. 21-67).Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing.

Regione Emilia-Romagna. (2015). Indicazioni metodologiche per l’applicazione dei fattori di conversione al metodo di calcolo di cui alla DGR 967/2015 e alla DGR 1275/2015.Retrieved in 2020, June 17, from

Rezaee, Z. (2018). Supply chain management and business sustainability synergy: A theoretical and integrated perspective. Sustainability, 10(1), 275.

Ricciardi, R. (2015). Retrieved in 2020, June 17, from

Sanches, R. A., Pereira Marcicano, J. P., Barros de Held, M. S., Gama Guimarães, B. M., Seawright Alonso, R., Takamune, K. M., Duarte, A., & Dedini, F. G. (2015). Organic cotton, lyocell and SPF: A comparative study. International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, 27(5), 692-704.

Searcy, C. (2016). Measuring enterprise sustainability. Business Strategy and the Environment, 25(2), 120-133.

Seuring, S., & Müller, M. (2008). From a literature review to a conceptual framework for sustainable supply chain management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 16(15), 1699-1710.

Seuring, S., & Gold, S. (2013). Sustainability management beyond corporate boundaries: From stakeholders to performance. Journal of Cleaner Production, 56, 1-6.

Shim, S., Kim, J., & Na, Y. (2018). An exploratory study on up-cycling as the sustainable clothing life at home. Fashion and Textiles, 5(14), 14.

Singh, R. K., Murty, H. R., Gupta, S. K., & Dikshit, A. K. (2009). An overview of sustainability assessment methodologies. Ecological Indicators, 9(2), 189-212.

Tebaldi, L., Bigliardi, B., & Bottani, E. (2018). Sustainable supply chain and innovation: A review of the recent literature. Sustainabilty, 10(11), 3946.

Teuteberg, F., & Wittstruck, D. (2010). A systematic review of sustainable supply chain management. Multikonferenz Wirtschaftsinformatik, 2010, 203.

Tibben-Lembke, R. S., & Rogers, D. S. (1998). The impact of reverse logistics on total cost of ownership. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 6(4), 51-60.

Warasthe, R., & Brandenburg, M. (2018). Sourcing organic cotton from african countries potentials and risks for the apparel industry supply chain. IFAC-PapersOnLine, 51(30), 297-301.

Winter, S., & Lasch, R. (2016). Environmental and social criteria in supplier evaluation - Lessons from the fashion and apparel industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 139, 175-190.

Yang, S., Song, Y., Tong, S., & Xiong, G. (2017). Sustainable retailing in the fashion industry: A systematic literature review. Sustainability, 9(7), 1266.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

5f5295f90e8825505d7dc2e3 production Articles
Links & Downloads


Share this page
Page Sections