Internal and External Barriers to Eco-conscious Apparel Acquisition

Connell, K. (2010). Internal and external barriers to eco-conscious apparel acquisition. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 34(3), 279-286. doi:10.1111/j.1470-6431.2010.00865.x.

Apparel consumption is a contributing cause of environmental change, and environmental integrity requires the encouragement of eco-conscious apparel acquisition. Unfortunately, among consumers, there is limited engagement in this behaviour. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to expand the knowledge base of eco-conscious apparel consumption and question the limited participation by identifying barriers that constrain consumers. This study used a qualitative approach to collect and analyse data from 26 eco-conscious consumers. Data collection for the study occurred through semi-structured interviews. Results indicate that consumers find it difficult to engage in eco-conscious apparel acquisition on a consistent basis because a number of barriers stand in the way. These barriers include knowledge and attitudes about environmentally preferable apparel, availability of environmentally preferable apparel, economic resources, retail environments and societal norms. Consequently, the implication is that strategies intending to encourage eco-conscious apparel acquisition should include a focus on diminishing these barriers.

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