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Investigating consumer behaviour for environmental, sustainable and social apparel

Kerri Byrd (Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)
Jin Su (Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

ISSN: 0955-6222

Article publication date: 13 October 2020

Issue publication date: 29 April 2021

939

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate consumers' perceptions of and consumer behaviour towards apparel labels and environmental, sustainable and social apparel.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative research was conducted, and empirical data were collected from 399 US consumers.

Findings

Findings indicate that consumers expressed positive sentiments towards apparel sustainability, yet they lacked knowledge about socially and environmental practices within the apparel industry. Overall, it is apparent that the respondents have an interest in environmental and social labelling; but they are not aware of brands that sell these types of garments nor their validity. It was also found that consumers may not have much knowledge regarding environmental, sustainable and social apparel or their meanings.

Originality/value

By surveying the consumers about their perspectives on apparel labels and environmental, sustainable and social apparel, valuable market information was obtained. Sustainably and ethically produced garments are of demand as transparency in the apparel industry grows. Brands looking to become more transparent about their production methods will need to find new ways to reach their target market by accurately labelling products and educating their consumers about these label claims.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful for valuable comments and suggestions from two anonymous reviewers and Professor George Stylios (the Editor). The authors would also like to thank Dr. Kittichai (Tu) Watchravesringkan and Dr. Trish Kemerly for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.Funding: The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.Declaration of conflicting interests: The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Citation

Byrd, K. and Su, J. (2021), "Investigating consumer behaviour for environmental, sustainable and social apparel", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 336-352. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCST-03-2020-0040

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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