How Does the Usage of Sustainable Fast-fashion Create Value for Marketers and Consumers: A Multiple-case Study of H&M and Zaras’ Value Creation in Fast-fashion

Sara Marin & Sibel Pakirdas

Student thesis: Master thesis


Corporate social responsibility can refer to one of many strategies many companies use to monitor their operations and to have a positive and ethical impact on society and all stakeholders. Companies are adopting CSR practices since it has become an expectation from society but also to satisfy their stakeholders. On the other hand, the apparel industry is also becoming socially responsible since it is an enabler to satisfy established norms by stakeholders. Furthermore, companies also want to give something back to society. Therefore, CSR can be seen as a successful business strategy since it has the ability to function as a tripartite bringing together governments, firms, and workers, etc. On the other hand, CSR also enabled to practice business activities that are deemed ethical ‘just’ and ‘fair’. From a theoretical standpoint, CSR can be treated through three disciplines that are used in business practices and those are utilitarian, managerial, and relational disciplines. Moreover, the Pyramid of Carroll is a helpful framework that can help organizations in arranging their social responsibilities. And, also assess the expectations consumers have. Which leads to the study of consumer behavior which is the study of all processes involved when individuals or groups choose, purchase, and use product or services. The main goal of consumer behavior is the satisfaction of consumer needs. In the long run, understanding consumer behavior is good for business practices because of the usage and implementations of knowledge regarding a specific consumer segment and target audience. Cause-related marketing, green marketing, problem recognition, and consumer involvement are theories that will be reviewed in this thesis. The methodology used for this paper will help analyze theories and literature and enable them to correlate between and among theories, concepts, and themes. With the qualitative research method, the literature will be connected and epistemological research philosophy will help interpret the collected data. On the other hand, the process of induction will be used since the first half of the paper is exploring the apparel industry on a wider level. However, some deduction will be necessary since a relationship will be acquired through theory and the overall research. Lastly, the strategy to do research will be based on multiple case studies representing Zara and H&M. Finally, based on the findings, we can conclude that there is value in fast-fashion for all stakeholders, mainly for marketers, consumers, suppliers, and local communities. Consumers consider sustainability as an important factor in their purchasing decision-making. Every company should implement greener practices but be careful savvy when doing so. Lastly, Zara and H&M are leading fast-fashion companies and for years they have been under the public eye, especially, regarding their incorporation of sustainability.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages136
SupervisorsAndrew Popp