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Materialism and clothing post-purchase behaviors

Hyun-Mee Joung (Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 28 October 2013




The purpose of this paper is to investigate materialistic consumers' apparel purchase, compulsive buying, environmental attitudes, and post-purchase behaviors regarding hoarding, disposing, and participation in recycling.


Clothing is used to express the self. Materialistic consumers tend to be young and highly involved with clothing, and purchase compulsively and more than needed. They are more interested in getting possessions than disposing of them. This study was designed to uncover materialistic consumers' post-purchase behaviors. A survey questionnaire was developed and a total of 333 college students completed it in a classroom setting.


Results of a k-mean cluster analysis suggested two groups (materialistic consumers and non-materialistic consumers). Findings of independent t-tests indicated that materialistic consumers had significantly higher scores for apparel purchase, compulsive buying, value-oriented hoarding, and disposing, but lower scores for environmental attitudes than did non-materialistic consumers. No difference was found in participation in recycling between the two groups.

Research limitations/implications

This study suggests that marketing media should address benefits and ways to recycle and educate consumers in sustainable consumption behaviors.


Due to the nature of fashion, clothing is easily adopted and quickly becomes obsolete. Consumers easily dispose of clothing, which contributes to the increasing volume of textile waste. Although consumers are encouraged to participate in recycling to protect the environment, little research has focused on clothing post-purchase behaviors. Materialistic consumers' post-purchase behaviors regarding apparel hoarding, disposing, and participation in recycling is a new research area.



Joung, H.-M. (2013), "Materialism and clothing post-purchase behaviors", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 530-537.



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