Understanding consumers’ perception of the end-of-life of a garment : Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior to consumers’ disposal intention

University essay from Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi

Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this master’s thesis is to investigate consumers’ perceptions of the end-of-life stage of a garment. Overall, the objective is to determine influencing factors that impact consumers’ disposal decisions to conceive a better understanding of post-purchase consumer behavior and formulate implications for both business and society. Design/Methodology/Approach The research of this study follows a deductive approach, whereby hypotheses are derived from existing literature and the Theory of Planned Behavior. A single quantitative data collection method is applied to collect primary data, namely, a cross-sectional self-administered online questionnaire. An effective sample size of 398 respondents is statistically analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling. The conducted descriptive research design investigates the causal relationships between the latent variables and the Behavioral Intention. Findings The empirical findings reveal that consumers’ Attitude positively and individuals’ Subjective Norm negatively influences the intention to dispose of garments. The Personal Value of consumers highly negatively impacts the Attitude and therefore indicates an indirect relationship to an individual’s behavioral intention. There is no significant correlation between consumers’ Endeavor to Change to their Attitude towards garment disposal and between Perceived Behavioral Control and an individual’s disposal intention. Implications Fashion enterprises are advised to act as educators to raise awareness of the adverse effects of frequent garment disposal and elucidate lifetime-extension measures, such as creating emotional attachment through customization or co-creation. Furthermore, emphasizing longevity during the production phase is crucial to hinder the influential factor of disposal due to damage. Therefore, policymakers’ importance is decisive in establishing industry-wide standards regarding garment production and lifetime-extension practices. Furthermore, societal education about garment disposal opportunities should be provided, for example, through implementation in the general curriculum of schools and governmental or nongovernmental organizations’ campaigns. Originality/Value By taking the general development toward a throwaway society into account, a connection to the textile industry is drawn in this thesis. When looking at the literature, it is visible that increasing attention is placed on the post-consumer phase. However, the technical constitution and the actual disposal approaches were mostly covered in this context. Therefore, the authors of this thesis examine the particular consumers’ determination of the end-of-life stage of garments to contribute to current circumstances and related literature.

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