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Dakota Industrial Co. Ltd: Sustainable Garment Manufacturing in a Fast-Fashion World

HBP Product : ST87
Case Author : Prof Melody Man Chi Chao and Edith Terry
PublicAction Date : 30.07.2020


This case explains how Dakota, a medium-sized garment maker headquartered in Hong Kong, built its sustainability program while serving a US$3 trillion industry that is the world’s second-largest polluter after oil. It explores the main drivers behind Dakota’s sustainability program – the relationship with its major customer, H&M; Dakota’s organic development of sustainability principles as it moved production from China to Cambodia and Myanmar, two rapidly developing but poor countries in Southeast Asia; and the evolving discourse over business ethics and the “triple bottom line” (TBL) challenging companies to meet performance metrics that include impact on social and environmental wellbeing as well as corporate growth.

Learning Objectives

After analyzing the case, students will be able to: Describe the challenges and possibilities of sustainable manufacturing in the context of the global supply chain; Understand the ethical frameworks of the prisoner’s dilemma and time inconsistency, as they apply to manufacturing decisions aimed at achieving the triple bottom line; Distinguish between the values behind sustainable accounting and some of the many environmental and sustainability performance metrics used by companies; Understand the background and history of the transition from fast fashion to sustainable fashion, including its ongoing contradictions and challenges.

Company/Organization Dakota Industrial Co. Ltd
Industry manufacturing, retail, logistics, Apparel
Major Discipline Business Ethics
Subject(s) Sustainability, Brand management, Logistics, supply chain management, Business ethics, Asian family business, Retail
Geography Hong Kong, Mainland China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sweden, Europe, North America
Case Nature Field
Page count of the Case 16
Teaching Notes 15
Publisher HKUST
Last Revision Date 31.07.2020