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Consumers’ Perception of Sustainability in Fast Fashion: An Exploratory Case Study of a Fast Fashion Company and Their Consumers
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Sustainable development
Sustainable Development/Sustainability is used as a subject keyword for the thesis
Abstract [en]

Background

An increasing number of apparel businesses, especially fast fashion companies, have in recent years taken initiatives to reduce the environmental and social impact of clothing production. Meanwhile, stakeholder pressure is growing stronger, demanding more transparency and investments in sustainability from companies. However, there is a lack of understanding of how the fashion consumers perceive the sustainability work of fast fashion companies. As a result, companies are investing heavily in communicating their sustainability work and marketing sustainable products to the consumers, without actually knowing what their consumers’ attitudes towards sustainability in fast fashion are.

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the consumers’ attitudes towards sustainability in fast fashion. The focus will be on a fast fashion company’s consumers’ perception of its sustainability work, and on these consumers’ interest in sustainable fashion products.

Methodology

The research is primarily qualitative and consists of a case study focusing on the consumers of one of the biggest fast fashion companies on the Swedish market (anonymized and referred to as The Company in the following. Data has been collected mainly through in-depth interviews, along with a questionnaire, and has been analyzed through a thematic analysis and content analysis.

Findings and Discussion

Several interesting patterns have emerged in the research. The level of awareness of sustainability in fashion differs between age groups. Moreover, individual consumers define sustainability in fashion in different ways. Furthermore, the majority of the consumers express a strong willingness to reduce clothing consumption in order to be more sustainable, whereas only a few would be willing to pay more for a sustainable garment. The consumers recall having received very little information about sustainability in fashion and are barely aware of the sustainability work of The Company.

Research Limitations and Further Research

Since the study is exploratory, it does not test existing theory. Nor does it aim to produce any general truths. The focus of the study is on gaining a deeper understanding of each the interviewed consumers’ subjective reality and subjective meanings, as well as to generate new ideas and suggestions for further research. One suggestion for further research is to focus on the translation of consumer attitudes into behavior, to see to what extent positive attitudes towards sustainable fashion translate into consumption of sustainable fashion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
sustainability work, fast fashion, consumer perception, consumption, consumer awareness, consumer attitudes, sustainable fashion, marketing, communication
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-13829OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-13829DiVA, id: diva2:1190719
Subject / course
Textile management
Available from: 2018-03-28 Created: 2018-03-15 Last updated: 2018-03-28Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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