In response to the growing attention to sustainability and green manufacturing trends, large-scale fashion and textile corporations worldwide strive to enhance their efforts to sustainable operations and green manufacturing. This study categorised those practices into six major aspects – Carbon Targets, Energy Technologies, Sustainable Materials, Water Management, Pollution Control and Waste Reduction, with the aim to provide references to SMEs.
Combining online survey results and interviewees’ opinions, nearly 90% of the respondents agree that sustainable development is important. However, their current performance has room for improvement in handling surplus products, design and manufacturing, and selection of raw materials. Furthermore, 58% of the respondents believed that a large-scale sustainable development transition of the fashion and textile industry would happen in the future. In view of this, as important players in the extensive global supply chain, many Hong Kong SMEs in the fashion and textile industry have started to catch up with the international sustainability trend by implementing their sustainability measures. As the representatives of SMEs, ten local companies shared their stories for sustainable development. The ten cases are grouped into four categories: Embracing Sustainability Concepts, Sustainable Production, Design for Sustainability, and Partner Synergy.
To assist local companies, especially SMEs, in preparing for such sustainable operations transformation and green manufacturing, this study provides some recommendations in the main areas to improve, such as for the Handling of Surplus Products (e.g., upcycling technologies), Design and Manufacturing (e.g., redesign of disposed of products), and Raw Materials (e.g., materials with sustainability certifications). And some helpful resources, including but not limited to financial support, technologies, and training sources, that help SMEs to move toward sustainability are also covered in this study.