Consumer interpretations of fashion sustainability terminology communicated through labelling

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to examine how consumers interpret and understand sustainable-fashion-production and how this informs their fashion consumption practice.
Design/methodology/approach: The research adopts an interpretivist approach with in-depth interviews with 28 participants. Sampling criterion sought consumers already engaged with sustainable-production – professionally working mothers – to explore how their sustainability knowledge was evaluated for sustainable-fashion claims. Garment labels that descripted facets of sustainable-production were introduced to encourage discourse of sustainable-fashion knowledge.
Findings: The findings illustrate that sustainable-fashion-production is not understood and efforts to apply sustainability concepts were often misunderstood which led to scepticism for higher pricing and marketing claims. Despite this, there was concern for the wider implications of sustainability.
Originality: There has been little research examining consumer interpretation of sustainable-fashion-terminology, this research adds to understanding how sustainability is evaluated within fashion-production.
Research limitations/implications: Limitations include the small sample from one geographical area (Edinburgh), despite the richness of the data collected.
Practical implications: The research offers practical advice for fashion marketers to educate consumers through effective communication strategies how sustainable-fashion concepts improve consumer concerns surrounding fashion-production.
Social implications: The research indicates increased concern for fashion-sustainability, something that fashion-retailers should be mindful of.
Keywords: Sustainable-fashion; sustainability terminology; consumer behaviour; fashion-production; sustainable-production; sweatshop labour; environment; organic; fashion factory
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal
Early online date23 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • sustainable-fashion; sustainability terminology; consumer behaviour; fashion-production; sustainable-production; sweatshop labour; environment; organic; fashion factory

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