Collectors behaving ethically: an emerging consumption constellation

Jennifer Yurchisin (University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)
Sara B. Marcketti (Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Publication date: 9 March 2010



This study aims to examine the characteristics of ethnographic textile collectors and compare them with the literature regarding fair trade consumers to explore the existence of a possible consumption constellation between collecting and fair trade purchasing.


Purposive sampling was used for the study as it maximized the attainment of significant information related to ethnographic textile collecting. Qualitative data from ethnographic textile collectors (n=12) were collected.


Results suggested that collectors were interested in purchasing high quality, authentic products that expressed their identity and individuality. These are similarities shared with fair trade consumers. Furthermore, collectors' motives to help artisans overcome poverty were evident; a similar value guides fair trade purchasing.

Research limitations/implications

The predominantly female sample of academics may not be representative of the average ethnographic textile collector.

Practical implications

Understanding the multiplicity of products and activities representative of one consumer group's lifestyle is beneficial to both for‐profit and non‐profit organizations in terms of product promotion or donation solicitation. The understanding of these consumers' lifestyle can, in turn, help marketers design and implement effective advertising and fundraising campaigns that improve the livelihood and wellbeing of excluded and disadvantaged people in developing countries.


The paper furthers the knowledge base and understanding of these different consumer segments by providing evidence of a consumption constellation between ethnographic textile collectors and fair trade consumers.



Yurchisin, J. and Marcketti, S. (2010), "Collectors behaving ethically: an emerging consumption constellation", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 45-61.

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