The Symbiotic Cluster: Pushing Textile Circularity Forward

Ann-Sofie Blomkvist & Jakob Chemnitz Stræde

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The textile and clothing industry is one of the most harmful and wasteful industries in the world in terms of stress on the materials and natural resources that go into making textile products. The concept of a circular economy has been gaining ground in recent years as a way to counteract industries’ negative impact on the environment. However, the concept has yet to take hold within the textile and clothing industry. This thesis proposes a systemic solution for textile and clothing companies to realize the potential for value-creation inherent in circular economy. As a multiple case study, the thesis isolates which specific obstacles against circular economy are experienced by the textile and clothing companies, identifies which changes are needed to enable the industry to realize circular value potential and proposes a concrete model that will bring about the needed changes. Findings show that for the configuration of the industry causes a lack of transparency in supply networks and spreads each activity in the companies’ production process across the globe, making it difficult for the smaller companies to control and monitor their value chain, ultimately making it infeasible for them to attempt transitioning to a circular business model. The thesis proposes a model named The Symbiotic Cluster that can help SMEs eliminate the obstacles of the industry and thus realize the potential for circular value-creation. In The Symbiotic Cluster, companies engage in symbiotic exchanges of materials and resources, supported by the geographic and value-creation proximity advantages of an industrial cluster. This will permit SMEs to take control of their value chain activities and implement circular concepts that enhances the recyclability of textile products, ultimately creating value through forward and backward inter-firm linkages that reduce the stress on the environment.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final ThesisMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages144