Upgrading the Global Garment Industry
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Upgrading the Global Garment Industry

Internationalization, Capabilities and Sustainability

Edited by Mohammad B. Rana and Matthew M.C. Allen

This timely book focuses on the upgrading of firms within the global garment industry, examining how garment manufacturers and retailers in different countries internationalize, develop their capabilities and enhance their sustainability. It highlights the important role the global garments industry plays in the socio-economic development and environmental outcomes of emerging economies.
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Chapter 11: Circular economy and sustainability capability: the case of HM

Mohammad B. Rana and Syed Ahmed Tajuddin


While sustainability has been a central focus of the multinational corporations and global value chain (GVC) literature, there has been a lack of understanding of sustainability capability (SC) and its link to the circular economy (CE) practice. Our study conceptualises SC in light of the CE and derives a framework to measure a firm’s SC in the GVC. Drawing on the three parameters, a) perfect duty, b) specific goals for economic, social and environmental sustainability, and c) a well-defined structure and strategies, we develop a framework to measure SC, leading to six different levels of SC: i) perfectly sustainable corporation, ii) imperfectly sustainable corporation, iii) occasionally sustainable corporation, iv) consistently sustainable corporation in selective areas, v) inconsistently sustainable corporation in selective areas, and vi) occasionally sustainable corporation in selective areas. In addition, we present a discussion of the challenges associated with SC achievement and CE practices. Our proposed framework is validated through the case of H & M. Our study bridges sustainability, the CE, and firm capability, thereby contributing to sustainable strategic management in the global value chain.

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