The case is about ECOALF, a Spanish sustainable fashion brand that manufactures garments, sneakers and accessories from recycled materials. By providing information on ECOALF’s products and initiatives, while simultaneously illustrating the difficulty of balancing social and financial goals, this case introduces an interesting real-world setting that touches upon various issues related to social innovation, entrepreneurship, strategy, CSR and ethics. Particularly, the case offers insights on the delicate phase in the growth of a firm in which the sales are booming and the company is expanding, while the company still does not make a profit and its long-term continuity is still uncertain.
The case confronts students with questions such as ‘What strategic decisions should be made to ensure ECOALF’s long-term profitability?’ and ‘How should social and financial objectives be balanced?’, and allows them to explore these questions using a real company and market information.
This case describes how Modelez Iberia launched a corporate social responsibility project called the Harmony Commitment program after good sales results were obtained when it was carried out in France. The essence of the initiative was very closely related to the basis of its competitive advantage: the purchase of local raw materials (they had to be traceable); proven quality; and an emphasis on how the product is associated with sustainability and with maintaining balance in local biodiversity. It obligated farmers to sow a certain variety of wheat under specific conditions.
Although a campaign that was carried out showed that the initiative had a strong impact and was widely known, the brand manager was not satisfied with the results since it was complicated to measure the program’s commercial impact. He wondered if the concept of "better wheat, better biscuits" was enough as a basis for his sales campaign, thinking perhaps that it was better not to insist on the Harmony Commitment, seeing how complex it was to communicate. On the other hand, the project had had a very favorable acceptance among suppliers and company employees. With the program ceasing to be a novelty and with competitive pressure continuing to grow, the director of communications, corporate responsibility and public affairs must analyze the project’s evolution and decide what the next step should be.
Loewe case study: Sustainability and Durable Luxur … DE1-209-I
The case study describes the process of integrating the concept of sustainability into the operations of LOEWE. The leadership of the new CEO, Lisa Montague, is a key part of the process, as is a highly structured plan to measure and determine whether the process is moving forward. One remarkable aspect of the case is the Leather Crafts College initiative, a training centre open to people interested in developing this skill and who have passed a selection process coordinated by Getafe Council. Having a pool of people who have become "artisans" is critical in the company´s plans for growth.
This case study is ideal to use with a group of students who have management experience. In addition, it is very suitable for use in an advanced level programme related to luxury or communication, when addressing issues related to sustainability. It also certainly fits into a CSR course, when dealing with CSR in more depth than simply as corporate philanthropy. On a Business, Government and Society course, the case is very useful for illustrating the application of Michael Porter's article: “Creating Shared Value”.
The most appropriate time to position the case is midway through the course.