Ethical Dimensions in Clothing Purchase

Authors: Bray, J.P.

Conference: First Annual Ethics in Everyday Life Conference

Dates: 17-19 March 2009


It is widely reported that consumer interest in environmental and ethical issues is growing. Evidence suggests that ethical considerations are now impacting on a broad range of consumption decisions. The focus of this paper is the impact such concerns may hold in clothing purchase decision making. Through an inductive qualitative approach, clothing purchase decision making has been explored before discussing consumers’ knowledge and concern of ethical issues within the supply chain. Any impact that these concerns may exert has been discussed.

It is identified that although there is widespread knowledge and understanding of the ethical issues that may be present in the manufacture of clothing, these concerns do not play a primary role in consumers’ selection of items. Product attributes such as colour, style and fit dominate the decision making process in most cases. Despite this, ethical considerations can be seen to impact on the consumer in three key ways: initial boycott of particular products or brands; influencing final purchase decisions if items are similar on other criteria and, impacting on post-purchase satisfaction with the product.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Jeffery Bray

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