Drivers of Global Buyer Sourcing of Sustainable Apparel from a South African Supply Chain
Faced with increasing imports, business failure, and sharp drops in employment, South Africa's textile and apparel industries are struggling to find a way to increase competitiveness. Recently, a Sustainable Cotton Cluster was established with the goal of creating an integrated sustainable supply chain in South Africa that starts with cotton farmers, extends through textile and apparel manufacturing, and places strong emphasis on environmental sustainability and social responsibility at every step of production. It is possible that the integrated supply chain could be valued by global buyers (brands and retailers) that are increasingly emphasizing sustainability. The purpose of this research was to understand the potential drivers of global buyer sourcing of products produced in the integrated supply chain. An online survey was conducted with industry professionals working for global brands and retailers, and a few large apparel manufacturers with their own brands.