Manufacturing companies have to innovate their processes and products sustainably to differentiate themselves and achieve a competitive advantage. Reconciling investment in sustainable innovation with corporate profitability could be a problem for many companies, still uncertain about the pros, cons, and strategic choices required to develop successful sustainable innovation. This article aims to contributeto the growing body of literature that questions what sustainable innovation is and its implementation drivers. Specifically, heritage marketing’s strategic potential is investigated as a tool for enhancing the company’s history and local resources. The current research focuses on the textile and fashion industry due to its repeatedly denounced unsustainability ‒ at an environmental, social, and economic level ‒ and alack of openness to innovation - in processes, products, and business models. The empirical evidence, deriving from the presentation of a case study of an internationalized Italian fashion company, suggests that the corporate and brand heritage’s strategic management (or the company’s historical and cultural heritage and values) can enable companies to implement sustainable innovation. The latter allows firms invalue creation and value exchange with the market. There is also a strong need for the textile supply chain to move towards a greater circularity.
Keywords: sustainable innovation, heritage marketing, territory, case study, textile and fashion industry