CSR in SMEs inside the fashion industry : opportunities and difficulties
This thesis is a research about how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be integrated within Small to medium sized enterprises (SME) inside the fashion industry. It examines the drivers for fashion companies to take social and environmental responsibility and what difficulties and opportunities that they might face in their work towards a more sustainable supply chain. There is no doubt about that the fashion industry needs to re-think their strategies in order to be ethical and environmentally friendly, however focus usually lies on the large chains and their impact. In this report, focus lies on fashion companies that belongs to the category “SME”. SME plays a significant role to the economy and have a great impact on the society yet there is little research and empirical findings on how SME can contribute in a profitable way to a sustainable future. A literature review was made to find the current status of how small companies work with CSR together with relevant theories on how to apply it in reality. Three companies chose to participate in an interview in order to get empirical findings and to connect the literature review with reality. The main barrier for SMEs within the fashion industry to involve in CSR is the financial aspect however there is many advantages such as improved stakeholder relationships as well as improved brand reputation that will generate profit in the long run. This study tries to motivate fashion companies to engage in CSR in order to build a stable business.
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