When second time’s a charm - Exploring consumers’ temporal experiences within second-hand fashion shopping

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: Second-hand fashion has emerged as a more sustainable way of shopping, promoting the circular economy while offering unique styles for a cheaper price. Although consumers generally express a willingness to adopt a more sustainable fashion consumption, this is not mirrored in their actual engagement in second-hand fashion shopping. While many people enjoy the second-hand shopping experience, the practice often implies a difficult search process which requires time and great engagement. Drawing upon the practice theory perspective and by investigating the five practice elements (i.e., material set-up, bodily skills and routines, teleoaffective structures, rules and cultural understandings) within second-hand fashion stores, this study aims at examining how temporal experiences are constructed while exploring how the elements constitute positive and negative customer experiences. This knowledge helps to explain what can be done to increase the attractiveness for second-hand fashion shopping and thereby fuel a shift towards more sustainable fashion consumption. Through 15 in-depth interviews and 4 shop-alongs, the findings show various element configurations that are combined into two types of practices, slow and fast second-hand fashion shopping, which are mostly characterized based on their level of acceptance towards the physical store environment. Findings particularly show that the consumers’ temporal experiences are especially affected by the configurations of the material set-up, which outlines the possibility of creating more attractive second-hand stores in the future. By theoretically combining customer experience research with practice theory, this research contributes with a deeper understanding of how circular offerings within the fashion industry are practically constructed and experienced by consumers, thus filling the gap in consumer behavior literature and providing insights for managers in the second-hand retail sector.

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