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The impact of ethical fashion on consumer purchase behavior

Bin Shen (Business Division, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China)
Yulan Wang (Business Division, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China)
Chris K.Y. Lo (Business Division, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China)
Momoko Shum (Business Division, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 4 May 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between ethical fashion and consumer purchase behavior (their willingness to pay a premium for ethical fashion), with the focus on consumers’ concerns and beliefs about, and knowledge of, ethical fashion.

Design/methodology/approach

A self‐completion questionnaire was administered to 109 respondents. Factor analysis and other statistical analyses were applied to test hypotheses.

Findings

The findings suggest that consumer beliefs about ethical fashion, which are based on their perceptions of a company in terms of its reputation in the fashion industry, influence their support for what they perceive as socially and environmentally responsible businesses.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size, which is relatively small, is a limitation for this research. The data were collected in Hong Kong, limiting findings to that geographic region.

Practical implications

An important implication is that consumer education is essential to mitigate the prevailing throwaway culture and raise consumer awareness of ethical issues facing the fashion industry. Thus, retailers should take initiatives to educate consumers so as to ensure the success of their newly‐launched ethical fashion products.

Originality/value

The paper proposes an approach to clearly understand the impacts of ethical fashion on consumer purchase behavior.

Keywords

Citation

Shen, B., Wang, Y., Lo, C.K.Y. and Shum, M. (2012), "The impact of ethical fashion on consumer purchase behavior", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 234-245. https://doi.org/10.1108/13612021211222842

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited