The fashion industry in transition: Exploring the contribution of business model innovation to the fashion industry’s transition towards circularity

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The fashion industry has become one of the most polluting industries in the world. In response to this, start-up companies in the Netherlands are experimenting with circular business models to reduce the impacts of the fashion industry. These new circular business models could be at the forefront of transitioning the current fashion industry to a circular industry. However as the fashion industry is a highly complex industry, the exact role and contribution of the start-up companies in the transition is unknown. Therefore, this thesis aims to explore and reflect on this role. A framework that integrates the theory of business model innovation in the Multi Level Perspective theory has been used to analyse the empirical data. The most important conclusions in the research are that the contribution of the start-up companies is currently limited due to the fact that they have not been able to scale because of a few barriers that were identified. These barriers include: not enough targetec legislation, external investors being hesitant to invest, misinformed consumers due to greenwashing by the regime, missing technological innovation, the trend of globalisation and finally, the corona pandemic that has hit the Dutch circular fashion start-ups hard.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen