Sustainability in the Fashion Industry – Effect on Consumer Perceptions and Purchasing Habits

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
Degree programme
(Mikkeli) Bachelor’s Program in International Business
50 + 18
Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to analyze the relationship between level of sustainability in fashion brands and consumer perceptions. Additionally, an objective was to see how prevalent the gap was between consumer intent and consumer behavior, in regard to sustainable efforts. Summary: Fast fashion, luxury fashion, and the significance of sustainability were all introduced and explained leading up to the literature review. The literature review’s purpose was to act as a base for the creation of a conceptual framework, which attempted to analyze different aspects of the two industries relating to sustainability to reach a conclusion about how levels of sustainability can affect consumer perception and purchasing behavior. From this, qualitative research was conducted through a focus group, for the purpose of gaining more insight of how consumers view the concept of sustainability in the fashion industry. This allowed for a thorough analysis of both primary and secondary data, and findings were laid out to reach conclusions for both the research objectives and research questions. Conclusions: It was found that while both industries are teeming with sustainable issues, the luxury fashion industry still presents itself with a higher level of sustainability. However, both industries are starting to move in a more sustainable direction. From the focus group, it was shown that sustainability was a very important concept, and that it heavily affected one’s perception of any brand. Generally, there was a negative perception of the fast fashion industry, but the gap between attitudes and behavior is still very much prevalent.
Thesis advisor
Mirońska, Dominika
Fast Fashion, Luxury Fashion, Sustainability, Consumer Perception, Purchasing Habits, Consumer Behavior
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