Clothes Make the (Wo)man: A Qualitative Study on the Construction and Expression of a Green Identity through Second-Hand Clothing

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Thesis Purpose: This study aims to deepen the understanding of green identity construction and expression among female Gen Z consumers in relation to second-hand clothing. Theoretical Perspective: By applying a sociological and a consumer perspective, identity construction and sustainability act as two research domains in which this study is positioned. The Processual Theory of Identity (PTI) by Cherrier and Murray (2007) is used as a foundation for the analysis. Methodology/Empirical Data: This exploratory study applies an abductive research approach and is qualitative. We conducted five focus groups with a total of 23 female Gen Z consumers born between 1995 and 1998. The gathered data was analyzed with a qualitative content analysis. Findings: A green identity is constructed through five phases: (1) Sensitization, (2) Self-Gratification, (3) Shift, (4) Socialization, and (5) Self- Realization. The first phase is expressed through a consumerist mindset and selling clothes, whereas the second phase is expressed through thriftiness and fashion leadership. In the third phase, consumers undergo a shift towards ‘greener’ values, which they then promote in the fourth phase. The last phase is expressed through adopting a green identity to the entire lifestyle. These phases are temporal: consumers move through the different phases according to the shift in their consumption behavior. Contributions: By applying an existing phenomenon (identity construction) to a new context (second-hand clothing), and adapting and extending the PTI, we enhanced the understanding of green identity construction. This study is relevant for marketers in the resale industry to enhance their understanding of their female consumers of Gen Z.

  AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)