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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Creating shared values by integrating UN sustainable development goals in corporate communication - the case of apparel retail

Mark-Herbert, Cecilia; Olofsson, Linnea


The textile and apparel industry, while endowed with enormous potential related to the development of countries, is continuously drawing attention to its negative sustainability impacts along their value chains. While apparel retail has been an early adopter to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into sustainability reports, critics point to the fact that linking sustainability activities to the SDGs is not enough, and cherry-picking low hanging fruit goals is insufficient. To address this potential discrepancy between action and communication, the aim of this study is to explain the perceived value of SDG integration in sustainability reporting in apparel retail. A comparative case study has been conducted of two Swedish apparel retail companies, Lindex and Filippa K, where six sustainability reports from 2015–2017 were reviewed. Empirical findings suggest that there is a correlation between SDG integration, communication maturity, and SDG contribution. The study points to the guiding role the SDGs may have to expand the scope of corporate impact and value in sustainability communication.


discourse analysis; sustainability reporting; SDG; textile industry; value creation

Published in

2020, volume: 12, number: 21, article number: 8806

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics
Olofsson, Linnea
Ethos International

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG5 Gender equality
SDG8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
SDG17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

UKÄ Subject classification

Business Administration

Publication Identifiers


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