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The restless desire for the new versus sustainability: the pressing need for social marketing in fashion industry

Deniz Atik (Department of Marketing, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville, Texas, USA)
Zeynep Ozdamar Ertekin (Department of Business Administration, Izmir University of Economics, Izmir, Turkey)

Journal of Social Marketing

ISSN: 2042-6763

Article publication date: 30 September 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023

469

Abstract

Purpose

Detrimental impacts on social and ecological well-being of excessive fashion consumption and production practices are posing threats on future generations. Therefore, the need for sustainable solutions and endorsing them through social marketing efforts is more urgent than ever. From the consumption angle, this study aims to explore the driving forces behind consumers’ restless desire for the new and the growing need to consume sustainably.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is conceptual in nature, and through a review of the literature in fashion, consumer, sustainability and social marketing studies, it examines why consumer desire for the new is so profound and how it conflicts with sustainability goals of the fashions industry. With a macrosocial approach, it reveals how multiple constituents of the fashion system can contribute toward sustainability goals.

Findings

This study explains consumers’ psychological and social needs driving their restless desire for the new and the role of fast fashion companies fuelling this desire. It also discusses the consequences of excessive fashion consumption and presents social marketing solutions at micro, meso and macro levels with upstream and downstream effects toward sustainability goals.

Practical implications

Considering the increasing consciousness about the negative impacts of excessive fashion consumption, this study suggests both practical and social implications that are associated with multiple stakeholders including consumers, fashion companies and public policymakers.

Originality/value

This study reveals in detail the challenges and potential social marketing solutions at micro, meso and macro levels, concerning the conflict between consumers’ restless desire for the new and the pressing need to consume more sustainably.

Keywords

Citation

Atik, D. and Ozdamar Ertekin, Z. (2023), "The restless desire for the new versus sustainability: the pressing need for social marketing in fashion industry", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSOCM-02-2022-0036

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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