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CSR in Practice
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Sustainable development
Sustainable Development/Sustainability is used as a subject keyword for the thesis
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this work is to examine the actual CSR situation in low wage countries of the textile industry and to identify obstacles and suggestions for improvements of the working conditions. In order to achieve that approach, different sources and various articles, magazines, books and related websites are being researched to get a wide range of information and to avoid a partial reflection. Furthermore an exemplary discussion of the CSR activities of two leading fashion retailers, Bestseller and H&M will be implemented by having a look on their company homepages as well as their current and previous annual reports and stated CSR activities. In addition, interviews with international operating NGO’s, fair trade unions and human right foundations will be conducted to receive widely independent information, deeper insights and critics concerning CSR and Human Development in the textile business. These interviews are of crucial importance for this work, since they provide widely independent assessments of the actual state of CSR implementation within the industry. By considering all the different information, this work provides ultimately indications for grievances and proposals for improvements in Human Development. Methodology – Using a qualitative research strategy, this work begins with a definition of CSR and Human Development, which provides a necessary background knowledge to approach CSR in the textile business. In order to get an idea of some of the industry wide activities and obstacles, this work contains an exemplary description of the CSR work of the two leading fashion retailers, Bestseller and H&M, using their company home pages as well as their current and previous annual reports and an outline of their reflection of the current stage of affairs regarding Human Development. Based on the findings from the homepages of H&M and Bestseller and the companies’ claim, different researched articles and the latest accidents in the news, eleven different interview questions were developed, regarding the actual textile production situation in the RGM industry. These questions are being used for semi-structured in-depth interviews with three different experts of the International Labour Organization, the German NGO Südwind Institute and the Confederation of the German Textile and Fashion Industry to get first hand information about the already achieved progress of the working conditions, as well as crucial driving forces and challenges within the Human Development “sector” of CSR in low wage countries. By considering all the different information, this work finally reveals grievances in CSR and gives proposals for improving the working conditions of the textile factory workers in emerging countries. Findings – The findings show the complexity and necessity of a controversy about CSR approaches in the textile and garment sector of developing countries. Recent accidents and different investigations by independent organizations are supporting the impression of an existing gap between the CSR policies of fashion companies on the one hand and the reality in the firms on the other hand. Different NGO’s are complaining about insufficiently implemented approaches and Codes of fashion brands and retailers within the supply chain. This work provides different suggestions for improving the working conditions of the textile factory workers in emerging countries. Possible ways for a human friendlier textile production are for example the strengthening of trade unions and worker advocacies, the ensuring of a social dialogue and closer collaborations between all the different stakeholders within the industry - including the governments, as well as more legal bindings and stricter regulations. Research limitations/ implications – The findings from this study are limited to the “sector” of Human Development and most of the results or hypotheses are not conclusively audited, due to the difficult validation. Additionally, the study is mainly focusing on the worker situation in selected low wage countries and does not provide global conclusions. Further research should aim to gain even further insights, for instance on a local company or local supplier level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 55 p.
Keyword [en]
CSR, Sustainability, Human Development, Human Rights, Working Conditions, H&M, Bestseller, Bangladesh
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-137OAI: diva2:814722
Subject / course
Textilt management - inriktning mot butikschef
Available from: 2015-05-28 Created: 2015-05-28 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved

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