Customization and Manufacturing Sustainability: General considerations and footwear investigation

Canetta, Luca and Pedrazzoli, Paolo and Sorlini, Marzio and Bettoni, Andrea and Boër, Claudio and Corti, Donatella (2011) Customization and Manufacturing Sustainability: General considerations and footwear investigation. In: Bridging Mass Customization & Open Innovation 2011 World Conference on Mass Customization, Personalization, and Co-Creation, 16-19 November 2011, San Fancisco, CA.

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To adapt to global competitive pressures, European Industry must develop methods and enabling technologies towards a personalized, customer oriented and sustainable manufacturing. To this end, a key question to be addressed is whether Mass Customization can be regarded as one of the main driving forces to achieve effective Sustainability, or a burden. Indeed, manufacturing is growing beyond the economic context, into a social and ecological phenomenon, motivating companies to move towards sustainable manufacturing: manufacturers are thus demanded to merge the need to be reactive towards customer needs and wishes (customized products), with the requisite to be proactive towards ecological and social impact (sustainable products). Are those two aspects empowering one another? Are they colliding? This paper will first portray the two concepts of mass customization and sustainability, and will then propose a framework to establish a link and evaluate it, also with the support of concrete examples in footwear.

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