To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

The academic conceptualisation of ethical clothing: Could it account for the attitude behaviour gap?

Vaughan Reimers (School of Business, Federation University Australia, Churchill, Australia)
Bryce Magnuson (School of Business, Federation University Australia, Churchill, Australia)
Fred Chao (Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 3 October 2016

Abstract

Purpose

Despite supposed widespread consumer support for ethical clothing, it still often fails to translate into actual purchase. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether the way in which academics have defined and measured ethical clothing could account for this.

Design/methodology/approach

An over reliance on convenience sampling and the use of student samples has also been touted as a possible reason for this attitude-behaviour gap. To address this, this study employed a consumer household sample. It also used a quantitative survey approach to collect its data and structural equation modelling to analyse it.

Findings

In contrast to the way in which academics have conceptualised the construct, consumer perceptions of ethical clothing were found to be influenced by four dimensions: environmental responsibility, employee welfare, animal welfare and slow fashion attributes.

Originality/value

Ethical clothing has typically been operationalised using just two of these four dimensions. Ironically, one of the two dimensions often overlooked by academics – animal welfare – had the strongest influence on consumer perceptions. Previous academic efforts had never employed more than three dimensions, and yet the results of this study suggest that all four must be present if an item of clothing is to be regarded as “ethical”.

Keywords

Citation

Reimers, V., Magnuson, B. and Chao, F. (2016), "The academic conceptualisation of ethical clothing: Could it account for the attitude behaviour gap?", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 383-399. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-12-2015-0097

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited