Title: Brazil's fashion and clothing industry: sustainability, competitiveness and differentiation

Authors: Mariana Bassi Sutter; Bárbara Galleli; Maria Laura Ferranty MacLennan; Edison Fernandes Polo; Hamilton Luis Correa

Addresses: Department of Business, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 908, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo – SP – ZipCode: 05508-010, Brazil ' Department of Business, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 908, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo – SP – ZipCode: 05508-010, Brazil ' Department of Business, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 908, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo – SP – ZipCode: 05508-010, Brazil ' Department of Business, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 908, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo – SP – ZipCode: 05508-010, Brazil ' Department of Business, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 908, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo – SP – ZipCode: 05508-010, Brazil

Abstract: The rapid market integration trend over the past decades has led to an intensive growth of international trade, directly influencing the way companies develop their strategies to compete in new markets. Sustainability has emerged to represent a source of competitive advantage through differentiation, reinforced by the increasing value attributed by society to environmental protection. This exploratory study seeks to understand the drivers of differentiation and sustainability towards competitive advantage. Through a qualitative approach, we conducted interviews with industry players. The results point out that differentiation through sustainability is shown to be important if integrated with other distinctive elements, such as design, quality and after-sale services. In addition, it indicates that in order to become sustainable, it is important to use synergies through the fashion production chain. As a result, the study highlights the opportunities and challenges for the consolidation of sustainability in the Brazilian fashion and clothing industry.

Keywords: fashion industry; clothing industry; Brazil; international markets; differentiation; sustainability; competitiveness; green fashion; sustainable consumption; opportunities; challenges; garment industry; apparel industry; sustainable development; environmental protection.

DOI: 10.1504/LAJMSD.2015.073065

Latin American Journal of Management for Sustainable Development, 2015 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.280 - 295

Received: 23 Aug 2014
Accepted: 03 Feb 2015

Published online: 13 Nov 2015 *

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