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Predictors of purchase intention toward green apparel products: A cross-cultural investigation in the USA and China

Seung Bong Ko (Department of Human Sciences, Texas A&M University – Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas, USA)
Byoungho Jin (Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 13 March 2017

7667

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand consumers’ purchase intention toward green apparel products using the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Specifically, this study aimed to compare US and Chinese consumers to understand how green apparel behaviors differ by a country’s green market status and cultural differences.

Design/methodology/approach

By employing two antecedents, man-nature orientation and environmental knowledge into the TPB framework, a theoretical model was proposed and tested to explain how and to what extent each variable affected the purchase intention of US and Chinese consumers. To compare the two countries consumers’ purchase intention, moderating effects were proposed. To test this model, a total of 437 valid data sets were collected at universities in the USA and China.

Findings

Findings indicated that the subjective norm was found to have the highest direct influence on purchase intention in both countries. Regarding internal perceived behavioral control (PBC) and external PBC, internal PBC was important for purchase intention in the US consumers while external PBC significantly influenced purchase intention among Chinese consumers. For the USA, two indirect antecedents to purchase intention (man-nature orientation and environmental knowledge) positively influenced variables in the TPB. In contrast, for China, the path between man-nature orientation and attitude toward green apparel products was not supported, but all other paths were supported. Only environmental knowledge (indirect antecedent) positively influenced internal PBC. Country moderating effects were not tested because of lack of supported evidence of invariance tests.

Originality/value

This study is an empirical research that focuses on purchase intention of green apparel products rather than on the production of green textiles, a topic that has received considerable attention in previous studies. This research is based on TPB with specified indirect antecedents to purchase intention. By testing the proposed model, the study explains the paths from two indirect antecedents (i.e. man-nature orientation and environmental knowledge) to the intent to purchase green apparel products. Therefore, academically, this study contributes to understanding the interrelationships among the factors that lead to purchase intention of green apparel products.

Keywords

Citation

Bong Ko, S. and Jin, B. (2017), "Predictors of purchase intention toward green apparel products: A cross-cultural investigation in the USA and China", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 70-87. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-07-2014-0057

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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