Get Instant Help From 5000+ Experts For

Writing: Get your essay and assignment written from scratch by PhD expert

Rewriting: Paraphrase or rewrite your friend's essay with similar meaning at reduced cost

Editing:Proofread your work by experts and improve grade at Lowest cost

And Improve Your Grades
Phone no. Missing!

Enter phone no. to receive critical updates and urgent messages !

Attach file

Error goes here

Files Missing!

Please upload all relevant files for quick & complete assistance.

Guaranteed Higher Grade!
Free Quote

The impact of the fashion apparel industry on global warming (Case study) Assessment. The impact of the fashion apparel industry on global warming , This unit has examined the importance and impact of concepts such as ethics, sustainability and corporate social responsibility within contemporary commercial and organisational contexts.

The final assessment task requires you to examine a specific case study which has relevance for both ethics and sustainability by a report analysing the impact of the fashion apparel industry on global warming.

1. Identify and critically evaluate the issues the case study raises from a business ethics and sustainability perspective, and the implications for the future.

2. Develop a suite of recommendations which addresses your identified issues at both a global and local (i.e. your own home-country) level, taking into account the implications for governments, producers and consumers.

3. Identify both the strategic and operational/practice dimensions involved in implementing your recommendations.

4. Identify the opportunities and challenges which are inherent in addressing the ethics and sustainability issues within this industry as proposed in your recommendations.

Environmental Perspective

The fast fashion apparel industry is complex and fragmented global system that is known for its social and environmental problems. The current estimated value of the industry is over 3 million dollars (Strijbos, 2018). The industry accounts for two percent GDP and employees over 24 million people globally. Due to its rapid growth, the industry has been associated with ethical and sustainability issues with some countries experiencing environmental concerns due to pollution experienced in the industry. Therefore, the paper seeks to identify ethics and sustainable issues raised for ZARA: Fast Fashion 703-497 3 case study, future implications, recommendation for identified issues, strategies used to implement recommendations and challenges and opportunities of addressing the ethics and sustainability.

The Issues the Case Study Raises From a Business Ethics and Sustainability Perspective, and the Implications for the Future

Dahlsrud (2008) defined business ethics as a study of business situations and the decision where the “rights and wrongs are addressed”.  In the ZARA: Fast Fashion 703-497 3, the aspects of ethics and sustainability include environmental, cultural and social factors. These aspects have hampered the business of the company to certain limit.

From an environmental perspective, it is clear that the entire apparel industry is highly polluting despite the environmental benefits it poses to some ethnic group of people. The apparel’s life cycle is very complicated and long as it includes a process that impacts environment after production and its supply chain (Kozlowski, Bardecki and Searcy (2012). Some of the phases involved in the life cycle of the ZARA: Fast Fashion 703-497 3  include fiber yam manufacturing, clothing manufacturing, resource extractions and production, recycling and disposal, consumer use (e.g. washing), textile manufacturing and transport and distribution. All the phases performed by the company have an environmental impact because of wastewater disposal, water usage, use of unrenewable and renewable resources and waste-production can cause biodiversity distortion and depletion (Langford 2008). For example, for ZARA: Fast Fashion 703-497 3 to make a cotton dress, a lot of water, pesticides and a large piece of land is needed to cultivate cotton-crops. In addition, for the fabric to be altered to the desired style, colour or finish, chemicals are used which end up drilling in local water reserves. Furthermore, energy is needed for driving all these processes, transport needed for getting raw material and currently, e-commerce is growing rapidly delivering products to someone’s house per placed order. Therefore, after clothes have been worn it is disposed of in the landfills, thereby increasing the number of greenhouse gasses (Kozlowski, Bardecki and Searcy (2012). Other clothes are burned exposing Carbon dioxide in the air and therefore end up contributing to global warming (Venkataramanan, 2011)

Concerning social perspective, ZARA Fast Fashion 703-497 3 and entire fast fashion apparel industry operates under less stern regulations and standards. Furthermore, the cost of labor is cheap, healthy and safety issues are increasing and child labor is on large scale leading to myriad societal problems (Jang, Ko, Chun and Lee, 2012). At the bottom of the supply chain, employees of the company are subjected to long working hours, poor working conditions and low salaries. Recently, the industry has been placed under public scrutiny because people are employed under little social responsibility (Perry & Towers 2009). Although producers intend to handle labor issues, supply chain remains opaque and involves supplier’s multitudes. The social and environmental issues contribute to unsustainability in the fast fashion industry. Fast fashion system has facilitated to short trend cycles, drops in prices and low quality making the consumption of rate of cloths high.

Social Perspective

Green washing is also an issue surrounding both Zara and its parent company inditex. According to Delmas and Burbano (2011 p.64) green washing is making of unsubstantiated claim of environmental benefits of service, product, company practice or technology. Inditex Company launched an initiative called “clothing that respects environment”. However, the initiative was launched after critics pointed the damages caused by culture of “throw aware prices” caused by cheap cloths.

The future implication of the fast fashion industry is diverse ranging from environmental harm to social harm. The ability of ZARA fast fashion company to outsource labor-intensive production steps such as sewing in order to lower costs implies that the company considers ethical implications as poor countries in Asia continent benefits from trade concessions. Zara Company has heavily automated its factories by adopting to latest machines that produces low noise and smoke. The automation has curbed these rising environmental issue that in turn may result to health issues and global warming respectively. In addition, the company is trying to build more sustainable brands like advanced fabric and organic cotton that are easily disposable in order to address the environmental concerns (Rankbrand, 2018). 

A Suite of Recommendations Which Addresses the Identified Issues at Both a Global and Local Level, Taking Into Account the Implications for Governments, Producers and Consumers

Consumerism is the promotion and protection of consumer rights (Paek & Pan, 2004). At Zara, resourcefulness should be promoted over consumerism whereby fabric scraps could be used to form more creative items. The global trend should be implemented by Zara, which will result to the protection of the environment through reusing potential pollutants. Creativity knows no boundaries, thus being resourceful and creating new items from the scraps will solve other global issues e.g. night gowns, pillowcases, blankets. Zara should avoid common global ethical issues including green washing, employee exploitation and harassment, discrimination, poor working environment and child labor. Zara should pay more attention to avoiding the issues and work towards gaining a global match in their operations.

While the local demands of textile consumers today include made-to-order, low price and good quality clothes, the clean cloth concept has emerged as a concept that is important in the production of textiles (Goworek, 2011). Zara should ensure that it manufactures textile products which do not pollute the environment, pose any problems to the health of humans or violate employees’ social rights who are expected to work under social and work standards that are internationally accepted. The public’s reaction against clothes manufactured by organizations that do not comply with the requirements of environmental protection may negatively affect the market share of the organizations locally. Further research by Jung and Jin (2014) shows that for local manufacturers and customers disregarding environmental protection may discredit their trademarks that may lead to a reduction of sales. Zara should implement national legal directives dealing with environmental protection.

Mixing chemical substances with other textile waste materials should be avoided (Aresta, Dibenedetto & Angelini, 2013). Furthermore, Zara should ensure that the storage and burning of textile in areas close to human activity is avoided as it is a primary contributor to environmental pollution. Instead, Zara should consider recycling much of the wastes and burn non-recyclable wastes in open areas. Zara should keep waste materials in areas that are safe in order to avoid threats to employees’ health. Moreover, Zara should treat wastewater at a wastewater treatment plant. Moreover, solid and liquid oil should be passed through various filters and must be cleaned and emptied regularly and a proper disposal method be implemented (Niinimäki & Hassi, 2011).

Future Implications

In the creation of employment and wealth at Zara, the government and business value cannot be underrated since it improves the steadfastness of the economy and general quality of life of employees. In addition, the role of the government at Zara in the improvement of the standards of living of employees is important. Research by Lo, Yeung and Cheng (2012) shows that many companies still ignore some legislation in the countries they operate in which has resulted in conflicts with government authorities. For example, the hiring of children as laborers which is illegal in many countries. Furthermore, stakeholders at Zara have continuously ignored the growing relevance of sustainability in businesses and have failed to implement policies towards sustainability at Zara, as well as carving out the various challenges they are expected to deal with.

Adequate business ethics at Zara should be implemented and practiced as they not only benefit the whole society but also serve as an effective strategy for meeting the company’s goals. Various producers have shown interest and have implemented adequate business ethics and sustainability within the organizations. Workers exploitation and child labor stories have reduced following the reporting of the unethical practices at Zara by the media (Pookulangara & Shephard, 2013).

Zara’s value and performance depends on their corporate strategy and its practice of ensuring customer satisfaction and protection. Therefore, the organization should consider the facts in the formulation of their corporate strategies to suit customers’ needs (de-Abreu et al., 2012). Business strategies at Zara should, therefore, demonstrate the value of consumers and employees. In addition, Zara should embrace and demonstrate an ethical nature in their business operations and consider and understand the implication of the strategies’ implementation on the consumers. Further research by Turker and Altuntas (2014 ) suggests that the business strategies at Zara should include balances and checks to ensure all implemented policies are observed and respected and that effective charges are imposed on the violators. Therefore, Zara should exhibit integrity, fairness and honesty due to their contribution to the consumers.

The Strategic and Operational/Practice Dimensions Involved In Implementing the Recommendations

Zara’s fast fashion strategies and practice dimensions include Demand-driven fashion, reusing, recycling, educating and creation of awareness.  Research by Ferrill and Tanhehco (2010) shows that educating members of society on environmental sustainability is a strategy that can significantly turn many negative malpractices such as poor payments, sexual harassments and discriminations at Zara.  Members are now aware of their rights and many social issues such as child labor, sexual harassments, discriminations and poor payments have reduced. For example, parents are aware of the effects of child labor and therefore they have discouraged their children from working on Zara Fashion Company. People have also been trained on how they can avoid sexual harassments and air their concerns while still working under Zara (Tokatli and K?z?lgün 2009). Business operations at Zara include the promotion, development, pricing and distribution of clothes across the globe. Therefore, Zara should not only adhere to the social standards and ethical values of their country of origin but also respect the cultural diversity and ethical standards of foreign markets. Cultural issues in Zara should be given special consideration since ethical issues have always been brought about by cultural differences (Shen, Wang, Lo & Shum, 2012).

Global Level

Reusing and recycling is another strategy involved when implementing the recommendation of ethical issues raised in Zara case study. According to Ekström and Salomonson (2014), reuse and recycling is a way of managing a used product for the new product. The reusing and recycling strategy in the Zara Company discourages environmental pollution as clothes are disposed inappropriately. Furthermore, developed countries have exercised the reuse strategy by donating unwanted clothes to developing countries. The donation preference over burning or disposing the fashion into the garbage has given the Zara company and entire fashion industry an opportunity of addressing pollution issues (Payne, 2011 p.239). In addition, the recycling of clothes has also minimized waste and kept the environment safe (Troschinetz and Mihelcic, 2009)

According to Brun and Castelli (2008) demand-driven fashion strategy has also been used to implement recommendations in Zara Company. The Demand-driven fashion emphasizes that Zara Company knows the sustainable product to produce and launch in the markets. Rather than the conducting conducting many months of research to base designs on forecasted trends, it should comply with all sustainable policies and regulations and produce on demand. Through the implementation of Demand-driven fashion strategy, it has become easier for the government to monitor its sales locally and globally and use the market data to determine the needs of people (Whittington et al., 2009). Corporates social responsibility (CSR) is also involved in implementing the recommendation (Perry & Towers 2009). Furthermore, the CSR practices address the ethical and sustainable issues as well as social, economic and environmental challenges.

The Opportunities and Challenges Which Are Inherent In Addressing the Ethics and Sustainability Issues within This Industry As Proposed In the Recommendations

Addressing the issues withat Zara has various challenges companies in the industry have to deal with. According to Joy et al. (2012), the main challenges include fulfilling a corporate responsibility, uninformed customers, irresponsible consumption, overproduction caused by errors in forecasting, lack of trust and poor fashion logistics. Zara is often equipped to address various challenges by implementing strategies of dealing with the challenges in their sustainable business plan. However, Zara has faced challenges in the implementation of a sustainability and energy management system which has frustrated the progress towards sustainability and business ethics.

The support from the government, environmental agents and humanitarian bodies is a great opportunity for addressing the ethics and sustainability issues at Zara. With rules and restrictions everywhere at Zara, the company has no option but to adhere to positive malpractices and adopt to zero discharge (Saicheua, Cooper and Knox, 2011). Recently, governments have criticized the fashion industry for polluting environment with some countries even banning nylon cloths that take long to decompose (Grigorakis, Mason and Drouillard, 2017). This support has been a way of keeping the environment safe for human living. In addition, some countries have restricted imports of cheap and low-quality clothes (Gwilt and Rissanen 2012).


The report indicated that environmental and social performances dependents on business ethics and sustainability. On issues related to ethics and sustainability, the report concluded that social and environmental factors slow down the growth of industry and also have negative impacts on the society. The identified issues on the report-included pollution, long working hours, discriminations, child labor and poor living wages. Reusing and recycling are the best strategies for implementing the recommendations. Strict government policies and regulation, CSR and adherence to a code of conduct can be the best methods for sustaining Fast fashion industry.

Local Level


Aresta, M., Dibenedetto, A., & Angelini, A. (2013). Catalysis for the valorization of exhaust carbon: from CO2 to chemicals, materials, and fuels. Technological use of CO2. Chemical reviews, 114(3), 1709-1742.

Brun, A. & Castelli, C., 2008. Supply chain strategy in the fashion industry: Developing a portfolio model depending on product, retail channel and brand. International Journal of Production Economics, 116(2), pp.169-181.

Dahlsrud, A., 2008. How corporate social responsibility is defined: an analysis of 37 definitions. Corporate social responsibility and environmental management, 15(1), pp.1-13.

de-Abreu, M.C.S., de Castro, F., de Assis Soares, F. & da Silva Filho, J.C.L., 2012. A comparative understanding of corporate social responsibility of textile firms in Brazil and China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 20(1), pp.119-126.

Delmas, M.A. & Burbano, V.C., 2011. The drivers of greenwashing. California Management Review, 54(1), pp.64-87.

Ekström, K.M. & Salomonson, N., 2014. Reuse and recycling of clothing and textiles—A network approach. Journal of Macromarketing, 34(3), pp.383-399.

Ferrill, E. & Tanhehco, T., 2010. Protecting the material world: The role of design patents in the fashion industry. NCJL & Tech., 12, p.251.

Goworek, H., 2011. Social and environmental sustainability in the clothing industry: a case study of a fair trade retailer. Social Responsibility Journal, 7(1), pp.74-86.

Grigorakis, S., Mason, S.A. & Drouillard, K.G., 2017. Determination of the gut retention of plastic microbeads and microfibers in goldfish (Carassius auratus). Chemosphere, 169, pp.233-238.

Gwilt, A. & Rissanen, T., 2012. Shaping sustainable fashion: Changing the way we make and use clothes. Routledge.

Jang, J., Ko, E., Chun, E. & Lee, E., 2012. A study of a social content model for sustainable development in the fast fashion industry. Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, 3(2), pp.61-70.

Joy, A., Sherry Jr, J.F., Venkatesh, A., Wang, J. & Chan, R., 2012. Fast fashion, sustainability, and the ethical appeal of luxury brands. Fashion theory, 16(3), pp.273-295.

Jung, S. & Jin, B., 2014. A theoretical investigation of slow fashion: sustainable future of the apparel industry. International journal of consumer studies, 38(5), pp.510-519.

Kozlowski, A., Bardecki, M. & Searcy, C., 2012. Environmental impacts in the fashion industry: A life-cycle and stakeholder framework. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, (45), pp.17-36.

Langford, R., 2008. Environmental Performance Indicators—Key Features of Some Recent Proposals. In Environmental management accounting for cleaner production (pp. 339-352). Springer, Dordrecht.

Lo, C.K., Yeung, A.C. & Cheng, T.C.E., 2012. The impact of environmental management systems on financial performance in fashion and textiles industries. International journal of production economics, 135(2), pp.561-567.

Niinimäki, K. & Hassi, L., 2011. Emerging design strategies in sustainable production and consumption of textiles and clothing. Journal of cleaner production, 19(16), pp.1876-1883.

Niinimäki, K., 2010. Eco?clothing, consumer identity and ideology. Sustainable development, 18(3), pp.150-162.

Paek, H. J., & Pan, Z. (2004). Spreading global consumerism: Effects of mass media and advertising on consumerist values in China. Mass Communication & Society, 7(4), 491-515.

Payne, A., 2011. The life-cycle of the fashion garment and the role of Australian mass market designers. The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, 7(3), pp.237-246.

Perry, P., & Towers, N. (2009). Determining the antecedents for a strategy of corporate social responsibility by small- and medium-sized enterprises in the UK fashion apparel industry. Journal Of Retailing And Consumer Services, 16(5), 377-385. doi: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2009.05.003

Pookulangara, S. & Shephard, A., 2013. Slow fashion movement: Understanding consumer perceptions—An exploratory study. Journal of retailing and consumer services, 20(2), pp.200-206.

Rankbrand (2018). Zara and sustainability: C-label | Buy sustainable brands. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Dec. 2018].

Saicheua, V., Cooper, T. & Knox, A., 2011. Public understanding towards sustainable clothing and the supply chain.

Shen, B., Wang, Y., Lo, C.K. & Shum, M., 2012. The impact of ethical fashion on consumer purchase behavior. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 16(2), pp.234-245.

Strijbos, B. (2018). Global fashion industry statistics - International apparel. Retrieved from p.1

Tokatli, N. & K?z?lgün, Ö., 2009. From manufacturing garments for ready-to-wear to designing collections for fast fashion: evidence from Turkey. Environment and Planning A, 41(1), pp.146-162.

Turker, D. & Altuntas, C., 2014. Sustainable supply chain management in the fast fashion industry: An analysis of corporate reports. European Management Journal, 32(5), pp.837-849.

Troschinetz, A.M. & Mihelcic, J.R., 2009. Sustainable recycling of municipal solid waste in developing countries. Waste management, 29(2), pp.915-923.

Venkataramanan, M., 2011. Causes and effects of global warming. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 4(3), pp.226-229.

Whittington, D., Davis, J., Prokopy, L., Komives, K., Thorsten, R., Lukacs, H., Bakalian, A. & Wakeman, W., 2009. How well is the demand-driven, community management model for rural water supply systems doing? Evidence from Bolivia, Peru and Ghana. Water Policy, 11(6), pp.696-718.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

My Assignment Help. (2021). The Fashion Apparel Industry's Impact On Global Warming (Case Study) Essay.. Retrieved from

"The Fashion Apparel Industry's Impact On Global Warming (Case Study) Essay.." My Assignment Help, 2021,

My Assignment Help (2021) The Fashion Apparel Industry's Impact On Global Warming (Case Study) Essay. [Online]. Available from:
[Accessed 03 March 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'The Fashion Apparel Industry's Impact On Global Warming (Case Study) Essay.' (My Assignment Help, 2021) <> accessed 03 March 2024.

My Assignment Help. The Fashion Apparel Industry's Impact On Global Warming (Case Study) Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2021 [cited 03 March 2024]. Available from:

Get instant help from 5000+ experts for

Writing: Get your essay and assignment written from scratch by PhD expert

Rewriting: Paraphrase or rewrite your friend's essay with similar meaning at reduced cost

Editing: Proofread your work by experts and improve grade at Lowest cost

250 words
Phone no. Missing!

Enter phone no. to receive critical updates and urgent messages !

Attach file

Error goes here

Files Missing!

Please upload all relevant files for quick & complete assistance.

Other Similar Samples

sales chat
sales chat