Sustainable Product Development Processes in Fashion: Supply Chains Structures and Classifications

Yi Ning Fung, Hau Ling Chan, Tsan Ming Choi, Rong Liu

    Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

    48 Citations (Scopus)


    Product development is a critical part of all business operations. In fashion apparel, product development is a complicated process. In recent years, with the advance of technologies and the growing public awareness of environmental protection, product development processes (PDPs) in supply chains, including fashion supply chains, need to be environmentally sustainable. In this paper, we first identify the commonly seen supply chain structures in the fashion industry. Then, by examining the product development process in practice and in the literature, we identify the essential steps in fashion PDPs, which include planning, product design, manufacturing, and product launching. We further classify the product development process into three types, namely the traditional product development process (TPDP), new product development process (NPDP), and sustainable product development process (SPDP). Furthermore, we analyze the key factors of achieving sustainable fashion based on the triple bottom line (TBL) framework regarding the PDP. We establish a sustainable product development process (SPDP) matrix, which can guide the fashion supply chain members to operate in a sustainable manner during the SPDP. Finally, we reveal open research issues and propose a future research agenda.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107911
    JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


    • Product development processes
    • Supply chain structuresl classifications
    • Sustainable product development
    • Sustainable production

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Business,Management and Accounting
    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Management Science and Operations Research
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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