Sustainable Entrepreneurship in the Apparel Industry - The Case of Manomama

Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 2012

12 Pages Posted: 24 May 2012

See all articles by Hanna Plieth

Hanna Plieth


Angelika Cosima Bullinger

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg; University of Pennsylvania - School of Arts & Sciences

Erik G. Hansen

Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz

Date Written: May 24, 2012


During the last decade, pressure on companies to transcend the focus on economic success and technological innovation in order to address more ecologically and socially desirable outcomes has increased. Commitment to sustainability-oriented innovation is still rare in the textile and apparel industry, but there exist first case examples of highly eco-innovative companies. This article presents an in-depth case study of the sustainable company manomama which manufactures individualised clothes for women, men and children in Southern Germany. Ecologically harmless and thereof mostly organic material is procured only regionally and highly experienced workers from the ancient textile region have been provided with secure, full- and part-time jobs. The article discusses the major challenges of manomama when entering business (knowledge and experience, site and machinery, sup-pliers, staff and supporters) and presents the innovative solutions the founder identified to address these. In addition, the article derives implications for traditional companies.

Keywords: Sustainability-oriented innovation (SOI), Sustainable fashion, Apparel industry, Regional sourcing, Sustainable entrepreneurship, Business model innovation, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), Social business, Age-diversity

Suggested Citation

Plieth, Hanna and Bullinger, Angelika Cosima and Hansen, Erik G., Sustainable Entrepreneurship in the Apparel Industry - The Case of Manomama (May 24, 2012). Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 2012, Available at SSRN:

Hanna Plieth

CLIC ( email )

Jahnallee 59
Leipzig, D-04109

Angelika Cosima Bullinger

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg ( email )

Schloßplatz 4
Nuremberg, DE Bavaria 91054

University of Pennsylvania - School of Arts & Sciences ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Erik G. Hansen (Contact Author)

Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz ( email )



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