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i-did: social impact through circular business

Kim Poldner (Department of Business, Finance and Marketing, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The Netherlands)
Rolien Blanken (Department of Business, Finance and Marketing, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The Netherlands)

Publication date: 16 May 2022


Study level/applicability

Teaching formats for both BA/MA students and MBA/PhD students in sustainable entrepreneurship and strategic management are offered in the teaching notes.

Subject area

This case juxtaposes the company’s core values of gender equality, sustainability and inclusivity, with the financial pressures of expanding global operations in COVID-19 times.

Case overview

This case illustrates the founding and growth of i-did in the broader context of the global circular textile industry. Being the first company that reclaims value of discarded textiles by making design products out of felt, the dilemma is on how i-did can create a blueprint for sustainable leadership in a scalable (financial) business case.

Expected learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this case are as follows: to understand the concepts of circular economy and social impact and how they can be translated to business; to apply their knowledge of strategy and entrepreneurship for sustainable business innovation; to be able to analyze a company according to the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically around gender issues, inclusivity and diversity; to evaluate opportunities for multiple value creation in business; and to have the knowledge and capacity to create a circular business with the help of the Business Model Template.

Social implications

This case engages students in critically reflecting on sustainability concepts in relation to i-did (theoretical value) and applying novel business model innovation tools to a real-world enterprise (practical value). The students get the chance to explore the ethical challenges the two entrepreneurial leaders face between short-term economic gains (or maybe even survival) and their core values of (gender) inclusivity, circularity and diversity.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes and a summarizing two-pager are available for educators.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.



The authors are thankful for financial support from The Hague University of Applied Sciences.


Poldner, K. and Blanken, R. (2022), "i-did: social impact through circular business", .



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Kim Poldner and Rolien Blanken.

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