Osklen: the aesthetics of social change

Kim Poldner*, Olga Ivanova, Oana Branzei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Subject area: Sustainable fashion. Study level/applicability: Bachelor Degree/Master Degree, Master of Business Administration (MBA), PhD. Case overview: The case focuses on Osklen, one of the world’s first eco-fashion brands, founded in 1989 by Oskar Metsavaht. For the past 26 years, Osklen had become Brazil’s foremost sustainable luxury venture, and since 2012, under first minority and then majority corporate ownership, pursued an aggressive global expansion strategy. The dilemma of the case juxtaposes Osklen’s creative aesthetics, which leverage unique Brazilian beauty in nature and heritage, with the financial pressures of global expansion. The tension is exacerbated by the 2015 corruption scandal, which decelerated the Brazilian economy and reduced consumer spending on sustainable luxuries in Osklen’s home market; it also risked compromising the appeal of Brazilian brands elsewhere. The case explores the complex interconnections between local and global aspects of sustainability and brings forward the environmental, social and cultural aspects of brands and business to the foreground. The case also illustrates how economic crises impact brands from the initial creative inspiration to the prospects of global expansion. Expected learning outcomes: Students will master tools for strategic analysis (VRIN framework and scenario planning) to a company evolving in an emerging economy. They will learn about the ways to consider and communicate sustainability. Students will be exposed to the importance of aesthetics and multi-sensoriality in business activities. Supplementary materials: Teaching notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email support@emeraldinsight.com to request teaching notes. Subject code: CSS 11: Strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalEmerald Emerging Markets Case Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2016


  • Aesthetics
  • Brazil
  • Fashion
  • Multi-sensoriality
  • Strategic decision-making
  • Sustainability

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Osklen: the aesthetics of social change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this