Garments Without Guilt? An exploration of Corporate Social Responsibility within the Fashion Supply Chain: case study of Sri Lanka

P Perry

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


    The aim of this thesis is to understand how fashion supply chain characteristics affect the implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at factory level for garment manufacturers in lower labour-cost countries that supply Western high street fashion retailers. The high street fashion industry is one of few sectors under simultaneous pressure for short lead times and low costs. Additionally, increasing global dispersion of garment manufacturing to lower labour-cost countries has led to concerns about worker exploitation and firms are now under pressure to deliver societal goals as well as shareholder profits. CSR represents the business response to minimising the negative societal impact of global business operations; however, the very nature of the fashion supply chain with the pressure on cost and lead time compromises CSR implementation at factory level. The theoretical contribution is the synthesis and categorisation of factors within the context of fashion supply chains that impact both negatively and positively on CSR implementation at factory level in a lower labour-cost country, followed by an understanding of the interplay of global fashion supply chain characteristics and their impact upon CSR implementation at factory level. The inherent conflict between CSR principles and the characteristics of fashion supply chains may be reconciled by moving away from traditional adversarial supply chain relationships and adopting the Supply Chain Management (SCM) philosophy of long-term orientation and shared goals between trading partners. Furthermore, CSR implementation was influenced by product nature, the level of service provided by the supplier and the long-term partnership approach to buyer-supplier relationship management in the Sri Lankan context.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


    • fashion supply chain, corporate social responisbility, Sri Lanka


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