Better World Fashion: Circular Economy and Competitive Advantage
(9 pages of text)
In 2015, in Aalborg, Denmark, the two co-founders of Better World Fashion formed their company as a social enterprise, aiming to highlight all that was wrong with the fashion industry and offer a cleaner and more ethical solution. The business was designed to focus not only on profit but also on minimizing the environmental impact of the supply chain. The founders chose to specialize in garments made from re-purposed leather, as leather had a long lifespan, and could be reused repeatedly without its qualities diminishing. Leather was also the most resource-consuming garment material to produce, and therefore was both the most environmentally damaging material and the material that was most in need of recycling. The company’s business model aimed to gain a competitive advantage through its image as a sustainable brand and its premium-quality products, which incorporated an emotional connection through the use of unique serial numbers and storytelling. However, in 2018, the co-founders wondered whether the company should continue as it had been originally positioned or whether it should change its strategies for growth and competitive advantage in international marketing.
This case is intended for undergraduate and graduate courses in marketing and international marketing. It is also suitable for courses in strategy and sustainability. After completion of this case, students should be able to understand the following objectives:
- The circular economy and the circular business model (CBM).
- The factors affecting the competitive advantage of the CBM in production and marketing.
- The internationalization strategies of a CBM through digital marketing.
- The targeting, segmenting, and positioning of a CBM product.
- The communication and competitive advantages of branding CBM products.
- The growth and expansion challenges and strategies of the CBM in the global fashion industry.
Denmark, Small, 2018
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