A Study of Sustainable Development Practices within the Australian Textile and Clothing Industry

By Grant Emerson and Keith Francis Cowlishaw.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The term industry sustainability has been discussed for many years, but what is the level of industry understanding and practice? Contemporary research indicates that many industries are confused not only from a definition point of view but also on how to identify and implement sustainable objectives. What should educationalists be delivering to the industry sector which will add value to their sustainable development strategies? To answer this question, one needs to establish what industry practitioners understand of sustainability and to what extent they are developing sound sustainable business development strategies. A study of the Australian textile and clothing industry explores the primary drivers for incorporating sustainable concepts within enterprise operations. This study gathered information on the extent to which Australian fashion and textile companies adopt an informed "sustainable" strategy across all aspects of their business. The research identifies and evaluates to what extent critical strategic issues such as product lifecycle analysis, raw material usage, supply chain management, cost reduction, consumer demand and needs, government legislation and environmental impact are being addressed at enterprise level.

Keywords: Industry, Sustainability, Textile and Clothing, Sustainable Business Development Strategies, Sustainable Education for Industry

The International Journal of Social Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.121-131. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 297.582KB).

Grant Emerson

Program Director, School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Grant Emerson is a Program Director, Member of the School Executive and Chair of Learning and Teaching at the School of Fashion and Textiles in the Design and Social Context College at RMIT University. Lecturing for over 20 years in Fashion Merchandising his role includes the interpretation and implementation of learning and teaching policy as per RMIT University strategic directions. His background includes the successful implementation of various work integrated learning projects in conjunction with leading industry partners both domestic and international.

Keith Francis Cowlishaw

Head of School, Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University, Australia

Keith Cowlishaw is Head of School Fashion and Textiles in the Design and Social Context College at RMIT University in which role he provides academic leadership for the school, development and implementation of strategic business plan, research and innovation and, ensuring the provision of a quality learning environment. His background is from within the textile industry where he has held a number of senior management positions in research and development, operations, quality, sales and marketing, business management and, general management with Dupont Nylon and ICI Fibres. He has had extensive experience working in overseas markets with a particular focus on Asia Pacific countries.