Developing a framework for the performance evaluation of sorting and grading firms of used clothing

Manoj Kumar Paras, Daniel Ekwall, Rudrajeet Pal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to propose a framework for evaluating the performance of reverse value chain activities in the clothing industry operating at base of the pyramid. Specifically, the research explores firm and supply chain factors influencing clothing reverse value chain activities with a focus on developing economies.

The study adopted an explorative technique using direct observations and semi-structured interviews to collect information from eight companies and two traders. Internal resources and value chain capabilities were examined using theoretical underpinnings of resource-based view, transaction cost economics and base of the pyramid.

The paper identified multiple benefits of offshoring reverse value chain activities to the developing countries (at the base of the pyramid). Low operation cost, skilled manpower, business knowledge and location are found to be internal success factors. While favourable government legislation and domestic recycling markets are important external factors contributing to the success. Developing economies such as India contribute to firm performance by integrating, transforming, acquiring and co-creating the resources at base of the pyramid. Further, it was found that to achieve higher assets specificity, a few companies have opened their own shops in African countries, while others have opened sourcing branches in Canada or the USA to ensure good quality of raw materials. Collaboration and coordination among different value chain partners minimise cost and increases profitability. Innovation in the process such as clothes mutilation for recycling has created new business opportunities.

Research limitations/implications
Information was collected from only eight organisations and two traders from India. Future scholars may extend the research to generalise the findings by documenting similar phenomena.

Practical implications
The proposed framework can serve a basis for the practitioners to evaluate firm performance, and the insights can be used to achieve sustainability by engaging producers, employees, consumers and community using base of the pyramid approach.

The study provides unique insights into the prevalent export and re-exports phenomena of used clothing. The resource-based view, transaction cost economics and base of the pyramid strategy underpinned together to develop a framework for understanding reverse value chain activities of clothing.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)82-102
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 18.02.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Qualitative
  • Clothing industry
  • Base of the pyramid
  • Firms performance framework
  • Sorting and grading
  • Reverse value chain


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