Impact of COVID-19 and innovative ideas for a sustainable fashion supply chain in the future

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The main purpose of this paper is to explore innovative ideas for a sustainable fashion supply chain in the future by focusing on investigating the impacts of COVID-19 on the fashion supply chain and review sustainable supply chain. Design/methodology/approach: A systematic literature review (SLR) and a case study have been undertaken to explore the innovative ideas for a sustainable fashion supply chain developed after the COVID-19 outbreak. Having conducted a comprehensive literature search in electronic databases Google Scholar, Emerald Insight, ScienceDirect and ProQuest, 69 articles were selected and reviewed. A case of the Kering Group was used to explain the results. Findings: This paper highlighted the basic concepts of a sustainable supply chain, reviewed the 10 principles of the United Nation Global Compact and their connections to promoting supply chain sustainability, as well as the three components of a sustainable supply chain: green supply chain, transparent supply chain and circular supply chain. Based on the results of a SLR and a real case of Kering Group, the paper identified 12 innovative ideas for a sustainable fashion supply chain: (1) biodegradable and natural materials, (2) textile recycling, (3) nearshoring, (4) artificial intelligence (AI), (5) robot, (6) 3D printing, (7) Internet of Things, (8) blockchain, (9) reverse resources; (10) bio-packaging, (11) augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) and (12) digital runway. Research limitations/implications: The epidemiological situations of the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding innovative ideas for a sustainable supply chain may change over time. While this paper provides a comprehensive literature review and case study, further research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of current efforts in the development of a sustainable fashion supply chain through collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. Practical implications: Embracing the issues from the COVID-19 pandemic, the results of this study are further explained by the case of Kering Group in the fashion industry. The managerial implications of the results and discussion are the need to adopt innovative ideas for a more sustainable fashion supply chain in the future. The success of sustainable supply chains work by leveraging the best available technologies such as robot, 3D printing, AR and VR, setting consistent standards for sustainability such as Environmental Profit and Loss and Kering & Textile Exchange and communicating with all parties throughout the supply chain, such as blockchain and AI. Investment in developing technology and innovative ideas will be the key of future to supply chain sustainability. Nonetheless, the specific approach used by each organization must be tailored to its characteristics, goals and circumstances. Social implications: Bringing upon unprecedented challenges, the pandemic has shown both companies and consumers just how fragile our planet is. Thus, to protect our planet in the long run, we need to not only make businesses more sustainable but also live more eco-friendly lifestyles. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first work that conducts a systemic review of the relevant academic journal articles addressed to the managerial audience on sustainable (fashion) supply chain. In addition, this paper also adds some consideration to this gap by exploring the innovative ideas for a sustainable fashion supply chain in the future and using a case to illustrate how these ideas can be put in a real-life context. This paper discusses the impact of COVID-19 on different stages of the supply chain and gives innovative ideas that can be used in response to the changing epidemiological situations of the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-248
Number of pages24
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Case study
  • Fashion supply chain
  • Innovative ideas
  • Kering group
  • Supply chain sustainability
  • Sustainability
  • Systematic literature review


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