A comprehensive framework for the sustainability indicators in the textile industry of developing countries

Taiwo Gbolarumi Fadara, Kuan Yew Wong, Hossein Zarei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Textile production in developing countries is known to be associated with significant environmental, social, and economic challenges. Existing research has mostly focused on singular aspects of sustainability, while no consensus exists on the importance and applicability of sustainability indicators. To address these gaps, this study utilized an integrated approach involving the Delphi method and the fuzzy best‐worst method (BWM) to develop a comprehensive framework by identifying and formulating sustainability indicators tailored for the textile industry in developing countries and assess their importance and applicability. Through three consecutive rounds of Delphi, a total of 64 sustainability indicators were identified (16 economic, 24 environmental, and 24 social indicators). Next, fuzzy BWM was employed to determine the importance and applicability of these indicators. The results show that (a) environmental indicators overall have higher applicability scores, (b) the top three critical indicators were raw material usage, operational costs, and fuel consumption, and (c) nearly half of the indicators (29/64) were deemed highly applicable, with 34.5% (10/29) of these falling under environmental, 34.5% (10/29) under economic, and 31% (9/29) under social dimensions. Finally, the utility of the framework is demonstrated through an empirical case study in a textile manufacturing company in Nigeria.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalBusiness Strategy and Development
Issue number1
Early online date16 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Delphi method
  • developing countries
  • fuzzy best-worst method
  • Nigeria
  • sustainability indicators
  • textile industry


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