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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2013

Joy M. Kozar and Kim Y. Hiller Connell

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between social and environmental responsibility knowledge, attitudes, and purchasing behavior.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between social and environmental responsibility knowledge, attitudes, and purchasing behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire was developed to assess knowledge of, and attitudes towards, issues of social responsibility, including social and environmental aspects related to the production and distribution of apparel and textile goods. Information regarding engagement in socially and environmentally responsible apparel‐purchasing behavior was also collected. Participants included students enrolled at a four‐year institution located in the Midwestern USA.

Findings

Participants indicated being more knowledgeable about apparel environmental issues as compared to apparel social issues. Overall, participants exhibited low involvement in socially and environmentally responsible apparel‐purchasing behavior. However, both knowledge and attitudes of social and environmental issues were significant predictors of socially and environmentally responsible purchasing behavior.

Practical implications

Given the competition among apparel companies operating in the marketplace, this study lends valuable insight for firms in implementing strategic social and environmental practices and policies. The implications of this study also suggest that firms within the industry may need to respond to the barriers perceived by consumers in engaging in sustainable apparel‐purchasing behavior.

Originality/value

The findings of this study are useful in understanding the relationship between knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Previous research on this topic has been inconclusive. A thorough examination of this topic is important, as noted by previous scholars, consumers have the ability to effect change in the marketplace through their purchasing behavior.

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Article
Publication date: 24 February 2021

Amélia Brandão and Ana Gonçalves da Costa

Extending the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), this paper aims to measure the relative importance of different barriers to sustainable fashion consumption (SFC).

Abstract

Purpose

Extending the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), this paper aims to measure the relative importance of different barriers to sustainable fashion consumption (SFC).

Design/methodology/approach

Existing studies have mainly adopted a qualitative methodology for identifying barriers to uptake of SFC, this study uses six of the main identified barriers: environmental apparel knowledge, perceived value, price sensitivity, product attributes and variety, availability and scepticism into the TPB framework to test and reveal which barriers have the greater impact on the TPB cognitions and consequently on building intention towards SFC. To test this model a survey study among 669 consumers from Europe, Asian and North America was conducted, structural equation modelling is used to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

Findings confirm the role of TPB cognitions on predicting intention and show that the proposed barriers provide a satisfactory explanation of the TPB model. Furthermore, results show that product attributes and variety and environmental apparel knowledge have the greatest impact on the TPB cognitions and on building intention towards SFC. Differences were found between the impacts of the price for the three continents.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the emerging sustainable fashion literature by examining the impact of different barriers to SFC in an extended TPB framework. To the best of our knowledge price sensitivity, availability and scepticism have never been studied in the context of sustainable fashion. It also provides a multifactor group analysis which uncovers differences among consumers from different continents.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Cosette M. Joyner Armstrong, Gwendolyn Hustvedt, Melody L.A. LeHew, Barbara G. Anderson and Kim Y. Hiller Connell

The purpose of this project is to provide an account of the student experience at a higher education institution known for its holistic approach to sustainability education.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this project is to provide an account of the student experience at a higher education institution known for its holistic approach to sustainability education.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study was conducted at Green Mountain College (GMC), an environmental liberal arts school in Poultney, VT; 55 students participated in focus group interviews.

Findings

Students articulate that the most valuable gains that manifest at GMA are a variety of new capacities for science literacy, anthropological appreciation, the triple bottom line, a sense of place, systems, empathic decision-making and reasoning, interdisciplinary collaboration, and practical techniques supporting self-sufficiency. Prompting these emergent outcomes was a philosophy of practice at Green Mountain College, which included place-based techniques, empowerment, personalization, community ecology and charting polarity. Many students described their seeming metamorphosis as uncomfortable, and some felt isolated from the outside paradigm.

Research limitations/implications

A key implication of the study’s findings is that in a holistic setting, the line between the informal and formal curriculum are significantly blurred and what is implicitly communicated through university practices and values is what most transforms the students’ explicit understanding of sustainability.

Practical implications

Sustainability education is far more than technique, far more than what a lone instructor can manifest in students. While the persistence of individual faculty members is important, this evidence suggests that the fertile conditions for transformation may be more fruitful when faculty members work together with a collective sense of responsibility and a well-articulated paradigm.

Originality/value

The advantage of the present study is that it examines the perceived impact of a focus on sustainability across curricula and school by considering the educational environment as a whole. The experiences of students from many different majors who are involved in a holistic, sustainability-infused curriculum at a university with a history of successful post-graduation job placements in the sustainability field are explored here.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 17 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Ebony Benson and Kim Y. Hiller Connell

– The purpose of this study is to expand the knowledge base of Baby Boomers’ attitudes, behaviours and perceived barriers related to fair trade purchasing.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to expand the knowledge base of Baby Boomers’ attitudes, behaviours and perceived barriers related to fair trade purchasing.

Design/methodology/approach

This study included 168 Baby Boomers. Data were collected through an online questionnaire. Data analysis included a combination of both quantitative (descriptive statistics, independent samples t-tests and correlation analysis) and qualitative techniques.

Findings

Findings indicated that the participants exhibited positive attitudes towards fair trade but were minimally engaged in fair trade purchasing. Furthermore, the participants perceived numerous barriers to purchasing fair trade products including the incompatibility of fair trade merchandise with lifestyles, the inability to touch and see fair trade products prior to purchase and difficulty in identifying fair trade items.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study is that the sample was well-educated university faculty and it is not representative of all Baby Boomers.

Practical implications

Fair trade entities need to be more effective in marketing the advantages of the fair trade. Fair trade organizations should consider targeting marketing strategies specific to the unique demographic and psychographic characteristics of Baby Boomer consumers.

Originality/value

This research expands understanding of the consumer behaviours of US Baby Boomers related to fair trade. An additional contribution is the comparison of differences in fair trade knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of Early vs Late Baby Boomers. It also has potentially important implications for fair trade organizations, as the paper discusses marketing strategies specific to Baby Boomers.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

Kim Y. Hiller Connell and Joy M. Kozar

The purpose of this paper is to analyze changes in undergraduate student knowledge of issues of sustainability relevant to the apparel and textiles industry. Assessment…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze changes in undergraduate student knowledge of issues of sustainability relevant to the apparel and textiles industry. Assessment occurred prior to and upon completion of a course that addressed topics specific to the global production and distribution of apparel and textile goods. The study also examined modifications in students' reported apparel purchasing behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants included those in their third, fourth or fifth year of undergraduate education in the apparel and textile discipline at a higher education institution located in the Midwestern USA. All participants were enrolled in a course focused on globalization and the apparel and textile industry. Measures used to assess students' knowledge of social and environmental sustainability issues related to the industry and their apparel purchasing behavior were included in the research instrument.

Findings

Pre and post comparisons revealed significant changes in students' knowledge of social and environmental issues relevant to the apparel and textile industry. However, the study found no significant adjustments in apparel purchasing behavior. Further, a post hoc analysis revealed no significant relationship between students' knowledge and their reported purchasing behavior.

Originality/value

Limited resources exist which examine methods for educating apparel and textile students about sustainability issues, with even less research documented on assessing the effectiveness of these methods. The paper analyzes the contributions sustainability‐focused curriculum can make in modifying the level of knowledge and purchasing behavior of students and recommends further strategies to yield possibly even greater results.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2011

Kim Y. Hiller Connell

The purpose of this research is to advance understanding of the socially responsible apparel consumer by exploring apparel consumption behaviors perceived by consumers to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to advance understanding of the socially responsible apparel consumer by exploring apparel consumption behaviors perceived by consumers to be eco‐conscious.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a qualitative approach to collect and analyze data from 26 American apparel consumers. Data collection for the study occurred through semi‐structured interviews.

Findings

Results indicate that the participants engaged in a number of perceived eco‐conscious apparel acquisition behaviors. First, they adhered to acquisition limits by acquiring apparel based on need and extending the lifetime of their apparel. Second, they acquired apparel made from fibers or having other attributes perceived as environmentally preferable. Finally, they acquired apparel through sources believed to be environmentally preferable, including second‐hand sources, eco‐conscious companies, independently owned companies, and home sewing.

Research limitations/implications

The sample of 26 American consumers means that the results cannot be widely generalized. Future research should examine the apparel acquisition behaviors of a larger sample and include consumers from outside the USA.

Practical implications

This study provides evidence that consumers engage in a range of eco‐conscious apparel acquisition behaviors, and a market segment of eco‐conscious apparel consumers exists. Apparel industry professionals can use this baseline information to aid in the development of eco‐conscious apparel consumption strategies.

Originality/value

This study contributes to increased understanding of eco‐conscious apparel consumption, an area with limited previous research, by identifying apparel acquisition behaviors that consumers perceive to be eco‐conscious. The findings are valuable in the promotion of eco‐conscious apparel consumption.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2013

Sonya M. Remington‐Doucette, Kim Y. Hiller Connell, Cosette M. Armstrong and Sheryl L. Musgrove

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a classroom assessment aimed at determining the extent to which key sustainability competencies develop in students…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a classroom assessment aimed at determining the extent to which key sustainability competencies develop in students during an introductory transdisciplinary sustainability course.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper summarizes three previously identified key sustainability competencies and describes teaching methodologies used in the introductory course described here to foster these competencies in students. The development of these competencies over the course of one semester is assessed using a pre‐/post‐test based on case analyses. The implications of these findings for academic sustainability programs are discussed.

Findings

Based on the assessment used here, the sustainability competencies developed differently in students with different disciplinary affiliations as a result of the introductory sustainability course. Business majors did not improve any of the key competencies, sustainability majors improved systems thinking competence only, and sustainability minors who were majoring in another traditional discipline improved all competencies.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to undergraduate sustainability education by shedding light on how sustainability might best be incorporated into specific academic programs. This information may help create more effective sustainability courses and academic programs, which may maintain the viability of current sustainability programs and promote the institutionalization of sustainability in higher education in general.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2019

Gwia Kim and Byoungho Ellie Jin

Built on the socioemotional selectivity theory, the purpose of this paper is to analyze elderly female consumers’ consumption of environmentally sustainable apparel (ESA…

Abstract

Purpose

Built on the socioemotional selectivity theory, the purpose of this paper is to analyze elderly female consumers’ consumption of environmentally sustainable apparel (ESA) according to their time perspective (TP) (expansive vs limited) and different types of advertising appeals (emotional vs rational and positive vs negative emotional appeals).

Design/methodology/approach

The study conducted a survey and experiments with 154 US female consumers who were 65 years of age or older. Data were analyzed through regression and ANCOVA.

Findings

The results showed that older female adults with an expansive TP tended to consume ESA, with their fashion consciousness moderating the results. Rational and either positive or negative emotional advertisements with environmental messages were found to encourage the higher purchase intentions of elderly consumers more effectively than advertisements with no environmental messages.

Practical implications

Apparel retailers are recommended to consider the factor of TP when encouraging environmental consumption. Environmental messages containing rational information and eliciting positive and negative emotions are suggested to promote purchase intention toward ESA among elderly consumers.

Originality/value

This study addressed an under-studied segment in ESA consumption – elderly female consumers – built on the socioemotional selective theory, and confirmed that this group’s ESA consumption can be explained by their perspective on time. In addition, this study confirmed which advertising appeals would effectively encourage their ESA consumption, and provided theoretical explanations for these findings.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2019

Melissa Abner, Fatma Baytar and David Kreiner

The purpose of this study was to provide more information about the effectiveness of the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) approach in textiles and apparel by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to provide more information about the effectiveness of the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) approach in textiles and apparel by applying it to a semester-long sustainability course.

Design/methodology/approach

A University-level course was re-designed using the ESD concepts. The course was taught from a consumer viewpoint using the product lifecycle as a focus, so the information was applicable to students’ lives and multiple consumer products. Quantitative results of a pre- and post-test taken by students measured changes in knowledge, attitudes and behavior related to sustainability. Qualitative data from open-ended questions collected student feedback on instructional strategies.

Findings

A significant change in knowledge and attitudes were observed on the post-test. Students perceived assignments that required critical thinking, research and related to their lives as the most beneficial.

Practical implications

The ESD approach changed student knowledge and attitudes to be more sustainable. Assignments that included real world examples had the most impact on pro-environmental attitudes and support the use of a student-centered pedagogy.

Originality/value

This study is based on a semester-long sustainability course designed with ESD, while many existing studies are based on a single intervention or lesson. The results of this study add to the body of ESD literature in the textile and apparel area and are applicable to other disciplines.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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