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Sustainable clothing: challenges, barriers and interventions for encouraging more sustainable consumer behaviour

Harris, Fiona; Roby, Helen and Dibb, Sally (2016). Sustainable clothing: challenges, barriers and interventions for encouraging more sustainable consumer behaviour. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 40(3) pp. 309–318.

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Research with consumers has revealed limited awareness of the sustainability impact of clothing (Goworek et al., 2012). Semi-structured interviews conducted with a range of experts in sustainable clothing to increase understanding of the challenges for sustainable clothing revealed that a focus on sustainability alone will not drive the necessary changes in consumers’ clothing purchase, care and disposal behaviour for three reasons: (i) clothing sustainability is too complex; (ii) consumers are too diverse in their ethical concerns; and (iii) clothing is not an altruistic purchase. The findings identify the challenges that need to be addressed and the associated barriers for sustainable clothing. Interventions targeting consumers, suppliers, buyers and retailers are proposed that encourage more sustainable clothing production, purchase, care and disposal behaviour. These interventions range from normalising the design of sustainable clothing and increasing the ease of purchase, to shifting clothes washing norms and increasing upcycling, recycling and repair.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN: 1470-6423
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetThe Open University (OU)
Keywords: sustainability; clothing; consumers; behaviour change
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Item ID: 45014
Depositing User: Fiona Harris
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2016 13:16
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2017 18:01
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