Sustainable Fashion Consumption : An Interactive System between Consumers and Institutions

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Centrum för modevetenskap


Sustainability in the fashion industry has become a widely discussed issue. Various actors in theindustry, brands, designer labels, fashion magazines and other media sources, as well asconsumers all contribute to this matter. Although a considerable amount of research has focusedon consumer behavior and consumption patterns, the way the fashion industry affects thesefactors has been neglected. Moreover, many studies show that consumers claim to beecologically conscious, but that they disregard this aspect when consumption actually occurs.This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between consumersand institutions and how it affects sustainable fashion consumption. The understanding of theseprocesses is done using several approaches such as Kawamura’s (2005) theory about the fashionsystem and Arnold and Thompson’s (2005) view on consumer culture theory. To obtain adeeper insight into the fashion industry, qualitative interviews with fashion mediarepresentatives and consultants within sustainability development are conducted. To ascertainthe consumer perspective a focus group discussion is moderated. Findings show how a wholesystemapproach is needed for the fashion industry to become a more sustainable environment.

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