How Sustainable Fashion Companies Can Overcome the Ethical Intention-Consumption Gap, Alexis Archer

Progress towards greater social and environmental responsibility in the fashion industry is being held back by inadequate consumer demand. Sustainable fashion brands would benefit from a deeper understanding of how to increase this demand. My research sets out to understand the motivators and barriers for sustainable fashion consumption, as well as the conflicting variables in fashion purchasing decisions. After reviewing existing literature, I used a mixed-method approach. I combined qualitative
and quantitative questions in interview and survey form. While many consumers have a desire for sustainable and ethical products, demand is low due to the ethical intention-consumption gap. There are barriers, motivators and conflicting forces that influence the customer journey; currently, these drive consumers away from sustainable products but can be used to drive consumers towards them. I found that the primary barriers to making ethical fashion purchasing decisions are lack of information and low
convenience or availability, while the primary motivators are concerns about waste and the same product attributes considered for non-sustainable items such as style and fit. One of my recommendations for sustainable fashion marketers is to focus on increasing the availability and depth of information, which will educate consumers and reduce research costs. I also recommend that sustainable fashion brands focus their strategies on increasing convenience and broadening the availability of their merchandise. Marketing strategies should be focused on desirable product attributes like style and fit, along with these elements.

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