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Title: Sustainable fashion product development : with application in fashion sportswear
Authors: Fung, Yi Ning
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2021
Abstract: Product development is a critical part of all fashion business operations. In recent years, the growing healthy lifestyle draws the public awareness of fashion sustainability. Thus, the fashion product development processes (PDPs) need to be environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. Meanwhile, growing awareness for fitness and health also promote a significant rising of sportswear market. How sports fashion companies improve their sportswear's PDPs and sustainability performance of their business become critical. In Chapter 1, an overview of the research motivations, objectives, and methodologies towards sustainable sports fashion product development is introduced. In Chapter 2, we first identify the supply chain structures for the fashion industry. Then, by extensively reviewing the PDPs' related literature, we identify the essential steps in fashion PDPs, including planning, product design, manufacturing, and product launching. We further classify the product development process into three types, namely traditional product development process (TPDP), new product development process (NPDP), and sustainable product development process (SPDP). In addition, we analyze the key factors of achieving sustainable fashion based on the triple bottom line (TBL) model regarding the PDP. We discover that no previous studies have covered all three dimensions of TBL model throughout the whole fashion PDP. In Chapter 3, we further investigate how a fashion company can propose a successful sustainable business development strategy throughout the sustainable fashion PDPs with respect to the TBL. Via a case study with public data on the giant sports fashion brand Nike, we explore the application of our proposed sustainable business development strategy framework in Chapter 4. Since the fashion apparel PDP is complicated and involves many interrelated steps and decision processes, how fashion suppliers identify the consumers' demands for sustainable fashion products and make the right decisions during the PDPs is highly important. Many prior studies have depicted different consumers' attitudes towards sustainable fashion and their effects on consumers' demands. It indicates the differences existing between the consumers' expectations and the developed sustainable sportswear products. Thus, in Chapter 5, gap analysis on the attitudes towards sustainable sportswear development between the sustainable sportswear suppliers' (SSSs) and the sustainable sportswear consumers' (SSCs) is conducted through the questionnaire survey and data collection. The results present that a significant difference exists between SSSs and SSCs' attitudes towards sustainable design, manufacture, product features, and branding. Based on the in-depth interview, the major causes for the attitude differences are further studied, which contribute to providing strategic insights for sustainable sportswear product management and business development.
After studying the attitude gap between SSSs and SSCs', a set of sustainability performance assessment indicators are determined to implement a sustainable business development strategy. Through the applications of the determined assessment indicators, the SSSs can evaluate the social, environmental, and economic sustainability performances of the PDPs and make the best decision that meets the needs of the SSCs'. As the development process of sustainable sportswear products is complicated, changes in the product components of sportswear (e.g., materials, manufacturing methods, and product design) will correspondingly influence supply chain activities and meanwhile affect environmental, economic, and social performances. Thus, the interrelations between different sustainability performances and how the interrelations can help SSSs to strike a balance among the three sustainability dimensions are explored. Based on the findings in Chapter 6, a set of three-dimensional assessment indicators is introduced. To examine the applicability of the developed assessment indicators, a series of sportswear (legging products) are developed and investigated. The outcomes of Chapter 6 provide insights on the approach to balance sustainability and development of cost-effective and sustainable sportswear products for SSSs and SSCs. Finally, to enhance our understanding of the research and industrial progress relating to sustainable fashion product development on a global scale, a knowledge network analysis (KNA) has been conducted in Chapter 7 to systematically investigate the related studies carried out by researchers and teams from different countries and regions. Meanwhile, through the main-path analysis (MPA), the correlations among these existing studies have been established, which shed light on the future research trends/interests and facilitate the strategic planning of industrial activities for sustainable fashion product development. After conducting the KNA and MPA, the gaps between the existing studies and the problems not being addressed are determined. These studies enhance our understanding of the current knowledge and future research directions on sustainable product development. To summarize, the major findings of the whole study towards sustainable sport fashion product development process and future works are presented in Chapter 8.
Subjects: New products -- Management
Sport clothes
Fashion design -- Environmental aspects
Sustainable design
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: 258 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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