Closing the loop: an exploratory study of forward and reverse ready-made garment supply chains in Delhi NCR

Anita Kumar, Seamus O'Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


– Increased economic development in emerging economies has spurred the growth of “fast fashion” and this in turn has led to not only an opportunity for recycling activity but also a need to do so from a sustainability perspective. The purpose of this paper is to consider the emergence of such recycling activity in a developing economy.

– A process flow approach guides identification of stakeholders and an analysis of reverse supply chain structure and processes. An adapted and extended theory of planned behaviour (TPB) model is employed to explore recycling behaviour at the household level.

– The authors find rather haphazard garment recycling channels in Delhi NCR. In particular product acquisition processes are characterised by poor value appropriation and provide a limited service to households. This is supported by the householder survey that finds poor satisfaction levels with most recycling channels. PLS path modelling tested hypotheses that each of the four constructs (attitudes, subjective norm, perceived control and sense of duty) are significant determinants of “intention to plan to recycle”. Having tested for various possible meditating effects, sense of duty was found to act as a precursor to attitude. In this model all other constructs were significant determinants of intention to recycle garments. Thus the study highlights the role of “sense of duty” in attitude formation, a key determinant of intention to recycle garments. This highlights the importance of adherence to sustainable practices and the need for associated governance and regulation. Subjective norm points to the impact of a range of people, including experts. While perceived control points to difficulties encountered both from a self-efficacy and external (opportunity) perspectives.

Practical implications
– The findings suggest that reverse supply chain design should address the limitations of the product acquisition process (especially poor value appropriation and limited collection services) and respond to household motivational factors and perceived difficulties.

– The study considers the impact of the garment product lifecycle on household behaviour. In this context the adapted TPB model addressed the role of conscious planning. The model is extended to include sense of duty, this contributes to emerging work in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-510
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • India
  • Closed-loop supply chain
  • Garment recycling
  • TPB model


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