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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Bin Shen, Yulan Wang, Chris K.Y. Lo and Momoko Shum

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between ethical fashion and consumer purchase behavior (their willingness to pay a premium for ethical fashion)…

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42521

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between ethical fashion and consumer purchase behavior (their willingness to pay a premium for ethical fashion), with the focus on consumers’ concerns and beliefs about, and knowledge of, ethical fashion.

Design/methodology/approach

A self‐completion questionnaire was administered to 109 respondents. Factor analysis and other statistical analyses were applied to test hypotheses.

Findings

The findings suggest that consumer beliefs about ethical fashion, which are based on their perceptions of a company in terms of its reputation in the fashion industry, influence their support for what they perceive as socially and environmentally responsible businesses.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size, which is relatively small, is a limitation for this research. The data were collected in Hong Kong, limiting findings to that geographic region.

Practical implications

An important implication is that consumer education is essential to mitigate the prevailing throwaway culture and raise consumer awareness of ethical issues facing the fashion industry. Thus, retailers should take initiatives to educate consumers so as to ensure the success of their newly‐launched ethical fashion products.

Originality/value

The paper proposes an approach to clearly understand the impacts of ethical fashion on consumer purchase behavior.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Catrin Joergens

The aim is to contribute to a better understanding of ethical fashion consumption. Even though consumers demand more ethical responsibility from companies, it is debatable…

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46530

Abstract

Purpose

The aim is to contribute to a better understanding of ethical fashion consumption. Even though consumers demand more ethical responsibility from companies, it is debatable if consumers would sacrifice their own personal needs to support ethically produced clothing.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus groups are conducted in the UK and Germany in order to elicit consumers' beliefs and attitudes towards ethical issues in the fashion industry and its effect on purchase behaviour. Questionnaires are administrated to verify the outcome of the focus groups.

Findings

The findings from this research demonstrate little evidence that ethical issues have any effect on consumers' fashion purchase behaviour. When it comes to fashion purchase, personal needs motivate consumers primarily to buy garments and take precedence over ethical issues.

Research limitations/implications

Only a specific age group between 18 and 26‐years‐old is interviewed. Both research methods are undertaken in the area of Manchester, England, and the area of Frankfurt, Germany, which perhaps limits the meaning of the results.

Practical implications

Consumers feel that they are often unable to make an ethical choice. Therefore they do seem to need more information to allow them to make better ethical judgements and there is a role for ethical fashion companies to communicate this more effectively.

Originality/value

This research paper gives insight into ethical fashion purchasing behaviour among UK and German consumers and provides information to improve the potential of ethical fashion.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2020

Tara Stringer, Gary Mortimer and Alice Ruth Payne

The rise of fast fashion has changed the face of global fashion. Despite sector growth, critics have questioned the level of obsolescence, encouragement of…

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11209

Abstract

Purpose

The rise of fast fashion has changed the face of global fashion. Despite sector growth, critics have questioned the level of obsolescence, encouragement of over-consumption and fast fashion's unsustainable business practices. Specifically, mounting concerns surround the impact on environmental, worker and animal welfare. Accordingly, the aim of this current work is to understand the influence of consumer's values on ethical consumption in a fast-fashion context.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was designed to collect responses relating to personal values and ethical concerns towards animal and worker welfare issues, as well as environmental concerns. A total of 350 US-based fast-fashion consumers completed the survey via Amazon MTurk. Factor analyses and structural equation modelling were used to analyse and test a theoretically hypothesised model.

Findings

This study found that self-transcendence values and openness to change values have a positive impact on consumers' levels of ethical concern towards animal welfare, the environment and worker welfare concerns within the fashion industry. Furthermore, a consumer's level of concern towards animal welfare and the environment positively influences a consumer's likeliness to purchase ethically marketed fast fashion.

Originality/value

This is the first study to investigate the role of consumer values and their influence on ethical concerns within the fashion industry and the impact of these concerns on intentions to purchase ethically marketed fast fashion. Responding to calls for further research into ethical consumption of apparel, this study includes all elements of ethical consumption identified, including animal welfare. This study identifies ethical areas of concern salient amongst fast-fashion consumers and provides a deeper understanding of the values impacting the level of ethical concerns surrounding animal welfare, the environment and worker welfare.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Lindsey Carey and Marie-Cécile Cervellon

The purpose of this paper is to provide the results of an exploratory study comparing attitudes of young fashion conscious consumers towards ethical fashion in Canada…

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4970

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide the results of an exploratory study comparing attitudes of young fashion conscious consumers towards ethical fashion in Canada, France and the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The methods used in this research were qualitative with a mix of interviews and focus groups and a new application of a visual method widely used within design and fashion environments, the mood board. The study is based within the contrast of a growing trend towards sustainability and the rise of fast fashion where consumers are increasingly demanding cheaper items. The research is also grounded in cross-cultural research where the comparison of data emanating from different cultures and languages presents specific dilemmas for researchers.

Findings

Results indicated that there were notable differences in the perception of ethical fashion between the respondents from these three cultures. In the representation and appeal of this fashion segment, in terms of its perceived availability, the transfer of meaning connected with the observation of higher price points and in the use of ethical purchases in the fashion arena as an offset or redemption for unethical behaviour in other contexts.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper lies in the innovative use of the visual qualitative methods which contributes to the debate concerning the research methods associated with cross-cultural research and extends the restricted body of literature which compares cultural attitudes in this area by offering key insights into the complex issues surrounding ethical fashion consumption.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 17 December 2021

Andrea Pérez, Jesús Collado and Matthew T. Liu

Although interest in sustainability within the fashion apparel industry has increased over the last decade, ethical fashion remains a minority trend due to low consumer…

Abstract

Purpose

Although interest in sustainability within the fashion apparel industry has increased over the last decade, ethical fashion remains a minority trend due to low consumer awareness and consumption behaviour. The aim of the paper is to explore empirically the relationships between general consumer support for ethical fashion, buying intention and willingness to pay, focussing on the effect that consumer concern and knowledge and beliefs have on these variables.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 450 general consumers in Spain, who are not specifically dedicated buyers of fashion apparel goods. Responses were collected with a structured questionnaire that included multi-item scales to measure all the variables of the causal model. After corroborating the reliability and validity of the measurement scales with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), 11 research hypotheses were explored using a structural equation modelling (SEM) approach.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that whilst beliefs are not predictors of consumer support for either social or environmental issues, concern and knowledge are antecedents of consumer social and environmental support, which determine general support for ethical fashion, intention to buy and willingness to pay. Consumer social support has a slightly higher impact on consumer support for ethical fashion, intention to buy and willingness to pay than environmental support.

Originality/value

The purpose of the paper is to contribute to the literature by empirically comparing general consumer perceptions, attitudes and behaviours towards the social and environmental dimensions of ethical fashion. In doing so, the authors aim at shedding light on the complex concept of ethical fashion and how general consumers understand it. The findings suggest that promoting educational marketing especially focussed on environmental issues is necessary to raise consumer awareness, knowledge and ethical consumption.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2020

Yongdan Liu, Matthew Tingchi Liu, Andrea Pérez, Wilco Chan, Jesús Collado and Ziying Mo

The clothing industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, although manufacturers and retailers are trying to revert this tendency by applying ethical

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1546

Abstract

Purpose

The clothing industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, although manufacturers and retailers are trying to revert this tendency by applying ethical fashion principles. Drawing on the knowledge–attitude–behavior (KAB) model or practice, this study aims to predict Chinese consumers' purchase intention of ethical fashion by employing and extending the theory of planned behavior (TPB).

Design/methodology/approach

The extended TPB model incorporates knowledge of ethical fashion and trust in the fashion industry and two critical variables in ethical fashion literature to explain the purchase intention of ethical fashion. Primary data from 245 Chinese respondents were collected in 2019. The model was tested and analyzed through structural equation modeling (SEM).

Findings

Results show that the extended TPB model has higher predictability than the original TPB model. Attitude toward ethical fashion and subjective norm significantly predicts purchase intention while perceived behavioral control (PBC) does not. In addition, trust of ethical fashion is positively related to attitude toward ethical fashion and purchase intention, whereas knowledge of ethical fashion plays a significant role in predicting trust and the three TPB factors. The subjective norm was found to have the most significant impact on consumers' intention to purchase ethical fashion, which shows that social pressure from one individual's reference group is the most dominant factor in forming consumer's purchase intention on ethical fashion.

Originality/value

The findings enrich the past literature on ethical fashion that trusting belief is a salient determinant of consumers' attitude toward ethical fashion and purchase intention of ethical fashion products. The findings also supported the applicability of KAB and TPB in the domain of ethical consumption in the context of a developing country.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Srikant Manchiraju and Amrut Sadachar

The role of personal values in consumer behavior is well documented; however, in the context of fashion consumption, the role of personal values’ influence on consumers…

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15075

Abstract

Purpose

The role of personal values in consumer behavior is well documented; however, in the context of fashion consumption, the role of personal values’ influence on consumers’ ethical behavior has not been studied. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to seek to explore whether consumers’ personal values predict consumers’ behavioral intentions to engage in ethical fashion consumption.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study employed the Fritzsche model, which states that an individual's personal values are related to his/her intentions to engage in ethical behavior. The present study examined the causal relationship between the personal values and behavioral intentions to engage in ethical fashion consumption. Data collected from the US national sample were subjected to structural equation modeling.

Findings

The proposed model explained 42 percent of variance in consumer's behavioral intentions toward ethical fashion consumption. Furthermore, a significant negative relationship between self-enhancement personal values and behavioral intention toward ethical fashion consumption was found. Several theoretical and practical implications related to the present study were discussed.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, the study is first of its kind in several aspects: first, ethical fashion consumption has been conceptualized in the broadest definition possible, as oppose to focussing on a particular facet of fashion consumption (e.g. organic products or counterfeit fashion); second, linking consumer personal values as a predictor of his/her ethical fashion consumption behavioral intentions; and third, employing the Fritzsche model in fashion behavior context.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Vaughan Reimers, Bryce Magnuson and Fred Chao

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…

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4016

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”.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Bryce Magnuson, Vaughan Reimers and Fred Chao

A recent study by Reimers et al. (2016) suggests that the attitude-behaviour gap, as it applies to ethical clothing, may be due to academics having defined it differently…

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2716

Abstract

Purpose

A recent study by Reimers et al. (2016) suggests that the attitude-behaviour gap, as it applies to ethical clothing, may be due to academics having defined it differently to the way that consumers do. The purpose of this paper is to serve as a direct follow-up to that study by employing their consumer-based definition in order to help identify the clothing attributes that influence the purchase of ethical clothing.

Design/methodology/approach

A consumer household sample in combination with a quantitative survey approach was used to collect the data, while structural equation modelling was used to analyse it.

Findings

In spite of the ethical clothing context, only two of the four ethical clothing dimensions were found to influence consumer attitudes. In contrast, all three conventional dimensions were found to be significant.

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, slow fashion, had one of the strongest influences on consumer attitudes. In addition, the cost of buying ethical clothing has often been defined in unidimensional terms; typically price. This study adopted a broader conceptualisation, defining it in terms of price, time and effort, and found it to serve as a salient influence over consumers’ attitudes to ethical clothing.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Ting‐yan Chan and Christina W.Y. Wong

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between product‐ and store‐related attributes of eco‐fashion and fashion consumers’ eco‐fashion consumption…

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30196

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between product‐ and store‐related attributes of eco‐fashion and fashion consumers’ eco‐fashion consumption decisions; and if such relationships are subject to the price premium level of eco‐fashion.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted with consumers in Hong Kong: in total, 216 consumers participated in the survey. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to check the validity and reliability of the scales. Hypotheses were tested using multiple regression analysis.

Findings

The findings showed that only store‐related attributes of eco‐fashion positively influence consumers’ eco‐fashion consumption decision, yet, such relationship can be weakened by the price premium level of eco‐fashion.

Research limitations/implications

Fashion consumers’ response to product‐ and store‐related attributes of eco‐fashion is still important in predicting fashion consumers’ eco‐fashion consumption decision. Fashion consumer environmental attitudes can predict fashion consumers’ eco‐fashion consumption decision better than fashion consumers’ attitude towards eco‐fashion.

Practical implications

It is not enough for fashion companies to manufacture fashion clothing in an ethical production system and develop and design fashion clothing with sustainable and recyclable materials. They must also improve store‐related attributes of eco‐fashion to better satisfy fashion consumer needs, and should be cautious in the direct and moderating effect of price premium level of eco‐fashion when determining the price premium level of eco‐fashion.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to research by advancing understanding on how consumers make ethical consumption decisions in purchasing fashion, and provides retailers with managerial insights into devising marketing plans to promote eco‐fashion consumption, which facilitate fashion companies’ development of a sustainable fashion supply chain. Limitations and directions for future research are also presented in the paper.

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