Adopting and practicing sustainability as a UK high street fashion retailer

Research rationale – Theoretical “It is worthwhile to investigate the value base in sustainable fashion and further to consider the consequences of our design and industrial manufacturing processes in the clothing sector based on environmental ethics.” “It is important to understand the consequences of our design practices; e.g. how current design, manufacturing and business practices affect unsustainable consumption patterns.“ “Products actually configure consumers’ needs and use patterns and hence design can be said to be “practice-oriented”, which leads to certain everyday consumption habits. Therefore designers, manufacturers and companies are responsible not only for the environmental impacts of the fashion industry but also for the unsustainable consumption behaviour of consumers and the increase of waste streams, i.e. the unbalance in the fashion system.” (Niinimäki, 2015) Research rationale – Practical Provide a useful and practical insight into sustainability issues and problems, and intricate factors that shape the image of retail business Technological advancements, new approach to shopping, alternative fabrics are now a promising force in the fashion industry. Maybe it is time to give production cycles a rethink, reduce our carbon footprint, and switch to more environmental friendly materials. “Sustainability is no longer niche, but heading towards becoming a new norm”. [Ethical Fashion Forum] Research rationale – Personal Fashion is the second-most polluting industry in the world, after oil. As a consumer and direct contributor to environmental pollution, I am searching to understand how my consumption habits affect the wellbeing of future generations Enrich my knowledge on sustainability practice of fashion retailers and use it later in my career. Research Aim Investigate how high street fashion retailers address and practice sustainability in their business Identify innovative and technological approaches that boost sustainability Research Objectives Understand sustainability and its application from approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing Explore sustainable alternatives to unsustainable materials and processes Mass production using sustainable materials and processe Promoting awareness and shifting consumers values Research Questions How fashion high street retailers practice sustainability in design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing? What sustainable alternatives to unsustainable materials and processes are available? Can these “alternatives” be used for mass production? How retailers promote awareness and shift consumers values for a sustainable consumption? Research Strategy – Data collection Secondary data collection – early stages: books, journals, magazines, past surveys and reports; companies’ websites Primary data collection – in depth, semi-structured interview Sampling technique- non-probable, purposive sampling, extreme cases; top five high street fashion retailers will be selected for case study. Research Methodology R. Philosophy – Interpretivism /Subjective Explore the extent of sustainability in practice and identify new approaches R. Strategy – Inductive The aim is to provide a richer understanding of sustainability in a real life context therefore I will collect and use data from multiple case studies R. Approach – Qualitative The aim is to identify and understand the reality of the topic through an exploratory research, gain a better understanding of the concept R. Design – Cross sectional

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