Overproduction and Overconsumption: The Relationship Between These Two Forces and How Disruptors Can Change the Industry, Carver Queally

Overproduction is a problem in the retail industry and too much unsold inventory is being
created. However, disruptive fashion rental services provide an interesting solution to the problem of too much inventory. Rental services could lead to less unnecessary inventory being created and could also leave the customer with more options at a potentially lower price. The topic of this research is the role of retail in disrupting the cycle of overproduction and overconsumption in the fashion industry. The specific focus is understanding the rapidly changing retail landscape; identifying the barriers to changes in consumer behavior; and developing new models of sustainable consumer apparel production, acquisition and use. Survey research was conducted via Survey Monkey with one hundred consumers and was focused on consumers’ awareness of overproduction and overconsumption; purchase behavior; and level of interest in the innovative practices that exist in the market. Findings indicate that consumers are aware of both overproduction and overconsumption in the market. Additionally, findings showed
that a segment of consumers are open to innovative processes. 54% of consumers between the ages of 26-34 who live in urban locations reported to use clothing rental services. Lastly, the study aimed to understand the consumer mindset regarding sustainability and retail purchase decisions. Findings showed that customer purchasing behavior is influenced by competing forces and not necessarily sustainability. In sum, the research achieved the objective of providing actionable insights for developing innovative retail models.

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