Going green is the new fashion

eco-friendly apparel research

The Department of Commerce is glad to announce that Dr Shailender Singh, Associate Professor, published a paper titled ‘Pro-Environmental Purchase Intention Towards Eco-friendly Apparel: Extension of the theory of planned behavior model’ in the Journal of Global Fashion Marketing published by Taylor and Francis. The research is conducted in collaboration with Dr Nishant Kumar, Amity University, Noida.

Abstract of the Research

In this study, the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) model is employed with environmental concern, personal moral norms, and perceived consumer effectiveness to better predict the eco-friendly apparel purchase intention of educated Indian youths. Variance-based partial least square-structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is applied to evaluate the hypothesized model. Findings indicated that perceived behavioural control has a strong significant positive influence on purchase intention, followed by personal moral norms, attitude, and perceived consumer effectiveness. Environmental concern is found to indirectly affect purchase intention through three primary TPB variables and personal moral norms. Multi-group analysis (MGA) examines the moderating effect of perceived consumer effectiveness on an attitude–intention relationship. The highly perceived consumer effectiveness group is shown to have a more consistent attitude-purchase intention relationship as compared to the low-perceived consumer effectiveness group. The study promulgates insights to professionals and policymakers to formulate sustainable marketing strategies and policies to cope with the indigenous market conditions.

The textile industry has emerged as a significant pollution source owing to a rise in carbon footprint, the spike in greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing landfill waste. Sustainable fashion has become a new style statement, and industries are shifting their orientation towards environment-friendly manufacturing. A plethora of research studies have been conducted to explore consumer behaviour intention towards visiting green hotels, green products, organic food, and electric vehicles. Studies have also been done to understand consumer behavioural intention toward sustainability in apparel, sustainability, social media communication, ethical fashion consumption behaviour, and eco-friendly apparel in developed countries. However, the paucity of research studies examining the influential factors affecting purchase intention of eco-friendly apparel in a developing economy makes this study more imperative.

This study furnishes the problem by examining the eco-friendly apparel purchase intention of the educated Indian youth in the sustainable apparel framework by investigating the potential of three core predictors of purchase intention in the theory of the planned behaviour model. Furthermore, the study extends the model by adding three more variables: environmental concern (EC), personal moral norm (PMN), and perceived consumer effectiveness (PCE). Moreover, this study also examines the PCE as a moderator between consumer attitude and eco-friendly apparel purchase intention (PI), which adds to the existing body of knowledge. The study promulgates insights to professionals and policymakers to formulate sustainable marketing strategies and policies to cope with the indigenous market conditions.

Based on the proposed extended framework, the study disseminates several practical implications to attain sustainability in fashion:

(i) The strong PBC influence on apparel purchase intention would facilitate marketing professionals to support consumers with sustainable apparel choices through clear visibility, long-term benefits, and striking design with a vast form of offerings, sustainability certification, and ease of access.
(ii) It has also been observed that youth’s moral obligation to behave ethically no longer depends on social pressure. Consumers may feel that the discussion on pro-environmental intention is not having social acceptance. Policymakers must bring opinion leaders to pitch the benefit of using organic clothing so that it can be discussed socially and develop suitable sustainable purchase intent.
(iii) Marketers should use vivid marketing communication tools to educate customers about the attribute-based benefits of organic apparel and the technological difference which makes it different from fast fashion.
(iv) Policymakers should sensitize people about the deteriorating environment and try to teach pro-environmental intent through green info-commercials, organic apparel labels, socio-environmental themes in products, and affordable pricing strategies.
(v) Marketers may adopt various media platforms to showcase how individual-specific green behaviour is self-sufficient in combating environmental problems. This would increase the PCE level among people, further leading to an attitudinal shift.

The Indian government can launch an awareness campaign based on the theme of environment protection through individual contributions and urge citizens to accept green as a socially accepted norm.

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