The Responsible Fashion Company
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The Responsible Fashion Company

Integrating Ethics and Aesthetics in the Value Chain

In The Responsible Fashion Company, Rinaldi and Testa argue that the fashion industry is at a crossroads: the need for a global shift to a sustainable model has never been more urgent. Yet, they demonstrate that we are witnessing a revolution led by conscious consumers and enlightened companies, who are redefining the rules of the fashion market. The question is: when will the rest of the industry catch up?

Rinaldi and Testa raise a fundamental but often neglected issue in the fashion sustainability debate: long-term equilibrium can only be achieved by integrating economic goals with environmental, social and ethical values. "The Responsible Fashion Company" provides a clear overview of the theory, challenges and opportunities of sustainability in the industry and demonstrates how fashion companies can achieve competitive advantage through sustainable innovation. The authors show how leading fashion companies are challenging traditional thinking and present inspiring examples from pioneers such as Gucci, Levi's, Timberland and Brunello Cucinelli, who create quality products without leaving a negative impact behind.

Refreshing and timely, The Responsible Fashion Company is essential reading for the socially conscious consumer and anyone with a professional or personal interest in the fashion, design and luxury industries.

Full of positive examples of better practice in luxury fashion. An inspiring read for new economists, intellectuals, fashion people and consumers, alike.

Safia Minney, MBE, Founder and CEO of People Tree

I love this book because it provides a clear framework of how the fashion industry is moving, business and managerial models, and rich case studies. – Rossella Ravagli, Head of Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility, Gucci

Inspiring... Read, learn from others and develop your own innovative way of doing business the right way. – Mads Øvlisen, Chairman of the UN Global Compact’s Advisory Group on Supply Chain Sustainability

The Responsible Fashion Company offers a comprehensive picture of the challenges and opportunities of sustainability in the global fashion industry. The discussion about the role of the neo-consumer and the ‘LOHAS’ practitioners is particularly inspiring. Across industries, enterprises have seen their sustainability initiatives fail or only develop into symbolic action because of a lack of consumer buy-in. The Responsible Fashion Company gives useful examples of how sustainable business models may be created in the necessary dialogue with consumers. Read, learn from others and develop your own innovative way of doing business the right way.

Mads Øvlisen, Chairman of the UN Global Compact’s Advisory Group on Supply Chain Sustainability

Rinaldi and Testa's book addresses a fundamental but neglected issue inherent in the fashion sustainability debate: the fragile and apparently impossible balance between beauty, values, and the economic imperative; the model it proposes merits applause. The book is a must read for managers  and academia determined to contribute to a better world through responsible fashion business practices and education.

Michela Ornati, Program Director, Fashion & Luxury Sustainability Summer School, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI)

This book fills a gap in the market for students and employees of fashion who want to understand the industry's current cultural context and the role sustainability now plays within this. It also provides a good overview of sustainability models and initiatives that are relevant to fashion, as well as a breadth of brand case studies which help underline that strong ethics and environmental considerations now underpin the success of leading commercial companies.

Allanna McAspurn, CEO, MADE-BY

As the fashion industry continues to hit the headlines due to its negative impact on both the environment and the people working to make our clothes, this book provides a focused and in-depth overview of the challenges affecting the sector. From cradle-to-cradle processing and triple-bottom-line strategy to maintaining brand integrity, the authors effectively illustrate the way businesses can address these challenges and move towards a responsible and commercial value chain.

Victoria Waugh, Director, Ethical Fashion Forum and SOURCE Consultancy

As part of an industry which leaves a massive footprint on people and planet, the growing challenge we face is balancing the fast moving demands of the fashion world with the realities of a production system which struggles to keep pace. This book is a refreshing and relevant overview of the facts, bringing to life the dilemmas and challenges underlined by examples of how businesses can drive positive change whilst using it to their competitive advantage.

Rachel Hearson, Account Manager, Fairtrade Foundation UK

Full of inspiring ideas and concrete case studies, this book is for anyone who wants to know how ethics and fashion can work together to define a new social agreement. It is actually possible to go beyond the capital/labour dichotomy and reconcile environmental conservation and personal dignity, without renouncing either to profit or beauty.

Sara Tommasiello, Finance, HR & CSR Manager, Monnalisa Group

All the ideas and cases shown in this book highlight how the aesthetic is linked to ethics.  In a world where natural resources are coming closer to an end each day, it doesn't make any sense to think about fashion as a linear economic activity, disregarding its social, cultural and environmental aspects. More than ever it is necessary to see that the fashion industry – if well oriented – can work as a contemporary tool towards the development of an awareness through which sustainability is central. And this book represents a breaking point against false dichotomies that often lead to shallow analysis about what fashion is – and its potential. Thanks to this book, we can see how it is possible to reconcile one of the most important industries in the world – one that generates more 30 million jobs – with best practices.

Oskar Metsavaht, Founder and Creative Director of Osklen and Instituto-E

This book provides everything you need to know about how to manage responsibility in the fashion industry.

Diana Verde Nieto, Co-Founder and CEO, Positive Luxury

Far-sighted and ahead of its time: the authors clearly define the new paradigms that we need and which, willingly or unwillingly, we shall have to apply in a not too distant future, perhaps sooner than we realise.

Carlo Petrini, Founder of Slow Food

Today, themes such as ethics and moral values are getting to the heart of society. Not only as an individual approach but also from a corporation’s perspective. This coincides with the will of driving change in the social environment. Companies in particular play a key role in this, and it is essentials for managers, professionals, researchers and students to have access to in-depth data ... I love this book because it provides a clear framework of how the fashion industry is moving, business and managerial models, and rich case studies.

Rossella Ravagli, Head of Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility, Gucci

Nudie Jeans started as a dream about not having to compromise, making the jeans we want at the same time as bringing a consideration for the environment and human rights into every aspect of products. This book describes many good examples of how this is happening in our industry.

Henrik Lindholm, CSR Manager, Nudie Jeans

We are at the point of an economic revolution, and consumers are increasingly moved by the injustice of trade and the human and environmental costs of big corporate profits. Rinaldi and Testa's book 'The Responsible Fashion Company' goes a long way to pull together existing research on sustainable fashion and is full of positive examples of better practice in luxury fashion. An inspiring read for new economists, intellectuals, fashion people and consumers, alike.

Safia Minney, MBE, Founder and CEO of People Tree

Foreword

Carlo Petrini

Introduction

1. The new paradigms

2. The new value proposition: from the logic of profit to shared value

3. Fashion and the environment

4. Fashion and society

5. Fashion and the media

6. Fashion, art, culture and territory

7. Fashion, regulations and institutions

8. Brunello Cucinelli: an ethical and humanistic company

9. Ethics and fashion: towards a responsible value chain

 

FRANCESCA ROMANA RINALDI is Director of Brand and Retail Experience Management at Milan Fashion Institute and Professor at Bocconi University. SALVO TESTA is Director of Fashion and Design at Bocconi University.

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