Supply chain transparency and sustainability in the textile industry: A qualitative study

2022-2023 Spring
Faculty Department of Project Supervisor: 
School of Management
Number of Students: 

Sustainability has become an important issue on corporate agendas and firms are increasingly being held responsible not only for their own actions, but also the actions of other firms in their supply chain. Although sustainability is relevant in several industries, it has a huge impact in the textile and apparel industry. After the unfortunate Rana plaza event in 2013, several large apparel companies started to pay more attention to ensuring both environmental and social sustainability. As part of these efforts, they started to disclose the list of their suppliers to be more transparent to their stakeholders. For instance, Marks and Spencer shares the name, location, factory demographics of their suppliers world-wide on an interactive map. Similarly, H&M lists not only their first-tier, but also second-tier suppliers’ information such as the number of workers, address and sustainability grading (i.e., gold, silver).
Supply chain transparency is often examined from the perspective of the buying firms (e.g., motivations for disclosing information) or the customers (e.g., purchase intention and willingness to pay more), yet there is a scarcity of research focusing on the supplier perspective. This is somewhat surprising considering that the main objective of supply chain transparency is improving supplier sustainability. In this research project, the aim is to investigate how textile and apparel suppliers perceive supply chain transparency and its effects, by also examining the enablers and barriers. After a structured literature review, interviews (mostly online, some may be face-to-face) with supplier firms in Turkey will be conducted. It is expected that each student will interview 3-4 companies and in each company 2-3 interviews will be done (with owners, sustainability managers, supply chain/sales executives). Then, interview transcripts and notes will be examined for qualitative data analysis.
Please check the required background and skills listed below and if you see fit, send me your CV and motivation:
Required background and skills:
- Excellent English reading and writing skills
- Preferably, knowledgeable about supply chain management
- Organized, able to critically review and synthesize academic articles
- Willingness to proactively contact supplier companies and arrange interviews
- Participate in interviews, take notes, transcribe the interviews

Related Areas of Project: 
Industrial Engineering

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