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Investigating the sustainability of the Korean textile and fashion industry

Youngjoo Na (Department of Clothing & Textiles, Inha University, Incheon, Korea.)
Dong Kyu Na (College of Law, Hongik University, Seoul, Korea.)

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

ISSN: 0955-6222

Article publication date: 2 March 2015




Fashion and textile industry has confronted to participate with the sustainable industry and society proactively not by the government regulations, but by the shareholders or consumers driven with corporate social responsibility. The purpose of this paper is to consider methods applied for the sustainability of products according to Korean domestic fashion and textile companies and clothing types and to investigate the limitation of current sustainability methods of companies.


The study used document analysis and case studies of 396 companies. The study looked into newspapers, monthly magazines, and publications of fashion companies and internet web sites of almost every possible type that have been issued to date and analyzed the previous studies as well.


The companies’ strategies are of three groups, the uses of environmental friendly materials: 36.9 percent (natural fibers, recycled fibers and biodegradable fibers), apparel reuse: 4.5 percent (remodeling/alteration and transform/combination with more materials), and eco-marketing promotions: 58.6 percent. For women’s and casual wear section, the methods used with organic materials and the green-campaign messages appeared frequently, while in the men’s wear section, coolMapsi, 0or warm OnMapsi for business wear did a lot for the low indoor energy consumption, such as no neck-tie in the hot season or wearing underwear in the cold season.


Fashion and textile products have provided the key solutions for the generation’s happiness, identity, value, self-realization, health and role. There have been the low quality and similarity of fashion products from mass production and high speed and we should consider sustainability for the next generation and society. But the current problem in the industry is that most of eco-product developments are only short term. Also, from the high cost of eco materials and processes, there is a limited portion of sustainability section among total products and low design quality of fashion or the low profit outcomes.



This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (2012S1A5A2A01019471).


Na, Y. and Na, D.K. (2015), "Investigating the sustainability of the Korean textile and fashion industry", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 23-33.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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