Assessing sustainable initiatives of apparel retailers on the internet

Katelyn Fulton, Seung Eun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify retailers selling sustainable apparel goods on the internet and examine their sustainable initiatives in the supply chain based on the United Nation's Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), one of the most widely used sustainability reporting guidelines. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 156 sustainable apparel websites were content analyzed based on presence or absence of the website contents. A systematic coding scheme was developed based on previous research on the sustainability of the apparel industry and the GRI. Findings: Findings of this study support the GRI as a useful framework to assess sustainability in online apparel retailers. The most commonly addressed aspects of the GRI that were addressed by companies in this study were the environmental and social aspects. Few sustainable apparel retailers on the internet made initiatives in all three areas of sustainability addressed in the GRI. Originality/value: This study provides general characteristics of websites as well as endeavours along the supply chain to illustrate a full overview of sustainable apparel retailers online. The initiatives discussed in this study are meant to serve as a guide and inspiration for future researchers, companies and consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-366
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Fashion Marketing and Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Apparel
  • E-commerce
  • Internet
  • Retailers
  • Supply chain
  • Sustainability


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