Understanding the role of sustainability in social ventures

  • Sally L. Fortenberry (Texas Christian University)
  • Shweta L. Reddy (Texas Christian University)


Small Alternative Firms (SAFs), as defined by Caniato, Cardi, Crippa and Moretto (2011), are small companies that redefine their business models and supply chains to improve their environmental performance. Criteria used to identify SAFs include having control over manufacturing, with direct oversight of the main phases of product production and design, and selling their products directly to final customers. SAFs have a strong impact on environmental performance, and these companies utilize green criteria to select their suppliers and to foster sustainable practices such as eliminating distributors and retailers in their supply chain. The use of online selling techniques allows SAFs to focus on both social and environmental sustainability. Tribe Alive and Symbology, both social entrepreneurial ventures located in Fort Worth, Texas and identified as SAFs, were investigated using case study methodology. Both ventures consider environmental and social sustainability as key elements to compete and survive in the fashion market.

Keywords: environmental sustainability, social sustainability, social venture, small alternative firms

How to Cite:

Fortenberry, S. L. & Reddy, S. L., (2020) “Understanding the role of sustainability in social ventures”, Sustainability in Fashion 1(1). doi:

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Published on
30 Jun 2020
Peer Reviewed