Are Fashion-Conscious Consumers More Likely to Adopt Eco-Friendly Clothing

By Charles H. Seeman, CPA

We already know there are profitable markets for eco-friendly items such as food and cars but can eco-friendly clothing be sold profitably? Current research by (Hae, 2011) indicates that environmentally prudent [behavior] has not yet extended to apparel purchasing behavior (pp. 179). Consumers who have a high level of environmental concern and environmental consciousness influence their purchasing decision of other products such as food (because of direct health concerns) and forest-consuming products, do not feel the same need to allow environmental concerns to influence their purchase of apparel products (Hae, 2011). Some researchers believe that attitudes toward eco-friendly clothing purchases are different because consumers attitude about all clothing purchases are different. “Apparel has long been recognized as the most change-intense category of consumer products” (Hae, 2011, pp. 179). [Clothing purchases] “are influenced by the combination of fashion trends and seasonal changes. In addition, apparel not only satisfies a basic human need, but has a social component”. Also researchers have found that fashion-oriented consumers have a greater knowledge about the clothes they are purchasing and tend to enjoy shopping for clothing and shoppers that enjoy shopping have specific lifestyle, motivations and [strong] opinions related to shopping (Hae, 2011, pp. 179).

So what did the findings show?

This study found that consumers who enjoy shopping and like being well dressed have a higher willingness to purchase eco-friendly clothing in the future. This finding shows that marketing strategies for eco-friendly clothing should be similar to other apparel product marketing strategies. To appeal to consumers who enjoy shopping, eco-friendly clothing retailers should provide fashion services and promotional activities to encourage purchasing while attracting consumers who like to be well dressed by developing an attractive eco-friendly clothing merchandise selection. To develop attractive eco-friendly clothing merchandise, eco-friendly clothing retailers should identify their potential market segment and develop promotional and educational materials to specifically address the consumers needs (Hae, 2011, pp. 191).

Read entire article at Hae, J. G. (2011). Are fashion-conscious consumers more likely to adopt eco-friendly clothing? Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 15(2), 178-193. doi:10.1108/13612021111132627

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