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Environmental  Apparel  Consumption

Data  Presentation  &  Analysis

4.3   Main  Analysis

4.3.3   Environmental  Apparel  Consumption

been  further  explored.  All  Independent  Variables  

Analyzing   the   influence   of   all   the   independent   variables   on   the   dependent   variable   shopping  item  quantity  showed  that  50.4%  (R2  =  0.504,  Sig.  =  0.029)  of  the  variance  in   behavior   was   explained   by   these.   When   this   was   adjusted   for   sample   size,   it   fell   quite   dramatically   due   to   the   large   quantity   of   variables   but   still   accounted   for   19.5%  

(adjusted  R2  =  0.195)  of  the  variance  in  behavior,  which  can  be  seen  in  table  one.  The   only  significant  variable  here  was  financial  resources  (B  =  0.002),  as  shown  in  table  five.  

As  in  the  case  of  fashion  related  behavior,  the  variable  measuring  financial  resources  was   under  the  ability  variables  which  were  the  ones  with  the  largest  explanation  of  variance   in   behavior   and   under   this   construct   it   was   also   the   most   important   of   the   individual   variables.  Furthermore,  it  is  in  agreement  with  expectation  that  consumers  with  more   money  would  exhibit  higher  degrees  of  shopping  item  quantity.  As  previously  mentioned   this  may  not  be  easy  or  even  possible  to  influence.  Nevertheless,  it  is  still  an  important   confirmation,  as  it  can  be  used  to  predict  unsustainable  consumption  behavior.  

measurement,   both   opinion   leader   and   opinion   seeker,   self-­respect   and   a   sense   of   accomplishment  from  the  kahle’s  list  of  values,  environmental  concern  and  contemporary   vs.   non-­contemporary   and  orthodox   vs.   liberal   from   Malhotra’s   self-­‐concept   scale.   The   most   influential   of   the   variables   for   the   motivational   construct   were   not   surprisingly   environmental   concern   (Beta   =   0.465),   followed   by  hedonic   shopping   values   (Beta   =   0.183).  When  looking  at  the  variables  that  were  significant  in  explaining  the  behavior  in   question,   the   data   revealed   that   the   most   influential   variable   is   whether   or   not   respondents   said   that   they   were   concerned   with   the   environment   (B   =   0.560,   Beta   =   0.465).  The  data  show  that  a  one-­‐unit  increase  in  environmental  concern  produces  a  56%  

increase  in  environmental  apparel  consumption.  Thus  the  more  concerned  the  consumer   is   with   the   environment,   the   more   they   act   to   do   less   harm   to   the   environment.   This   proves  the  connection  between  concern  and  action  with  regards  to  the  environment  and   therefore   suggests   that   increasing   knowledge   about   the   state   of   or   threat   to   the   environment   from   the   production   and   consumption   of   clothes   may   lead   to   more   sustainable  consumption  behavior.  

The   second   most   important   variable   under   the   motivation   construct   was   hedonic   shopping  values  (B  =  0.108,  Beta  =  0.183),  which  is  also  the  only  variable  that  proved  to   be   statistically   significant   for   all   three   dependent   variables.   This   is   noteworthy,   as   it   means  that  consumers  enjoying  the  act  of  shopping  and  finding  the  act  itself  exciting  is   explanatory   and   predictive   of   both   unsustainable   behavior,   buying   more,   and   at   the   same  time  sustainable  behavior  by  consuming  in  a  more  sustainable  manner.  However,   buying   more   and   consuming   in   a   sustainable   manner   are   not   necessarily   mutually   exclusive.   Even   though   it   can   be   argued   that   consuming   more   is   bad   for   the   environment,  it  is  still  possible  to  do  so  while  factoring  in  the  environmental  impact  of   the  consumption.  

Just  like  in  the  case  of  fashion  related  behavior,  the  respondents’  involvement  with  clothes   proved   to   explain  environmental   apparel   consumption   too.   However,   in   the   case   of   the   latter,   the   relationship   was   negative   (B   =   -­‐0.074,   Beta   =   -­‐0.144)   meaning   that   as   the   respondents   got   more   involved   with   clothes,   they   display   less  environmental   apparel   consumption.  Involvement   with   clothes   examines   to   what   extend   the   actual   buying   process   and   clothes   affect   the   consumer   (Michaelidou   &   Dibb,   2006)   and   it   therefore  

makes  sense  that  it  would  be  a  negative  predictor  of  environmental  apparel  consumption,   as  the  focus  here  is  on  the  actual  clothes  and  not  the  environment.  Thus  the  involvement   takes  precedence  over  the  effect  that  consumption  and  production  of  clothes  has  on  the   world.  This  seems  to  be  further  supported  by  the  importance  of  acquisition  centrality  (B  

=   -­‐0.244,   Beta   =   -­‐0.139)   as   a   negative   predictor   of   this   behavior   too.   This   variable   measures   how   important   the   actual   act   of   acquisition   is   to   the   respondent’s   life   and   therefore   can   be   said   to   have   some   overlap   with   both  involvement   with   clothes   and   hedonic  shopping  values.  As  this  is  a  negative  predictor  of  behavior  it  means  that  as  the   act  of  acquisition  or  purchase  becomes  more  important  to  the  consumer,  he  or  she  will   consume  less  sustainable  apparel,  which  can  be  explained  by  the  fact  that  the  consumer   now   focuses   more   on   the   actual   act   of   consumption   than   on   what   the   consumption   means  and  which  consequences  it  has  for  the  environment.    

It   is   also   interesting   to   find   that   both  opinion   leadership   and  opinion   seeking   were   significant.  Opinion   leadership   (B   =   0.146)   is   a   positive   predictor   of   environmental   apparel  consumption  while  being  an  opinion  seeker  (B  =  -­‐0.141)  is  a  negative  predictor   of   the   same   behavior.   This   means   that   the   more   influential   apparel   consumers   are   on   other   apparel   consumers,   the   more   they   are   likely   to   consume   environmental   apparel   and  the  more  they  seek  out  the  advise  and  opinions  of  others  the  less  likely  they  are  to   consume  environmental  apparel.  However,  opinion  leadership  (Beta  =  0.135)  was  over   half   a   time   more   influential   on   behavior   than   being   an  opinion   seeker   (Beta   =   -­‐0.081).  

Being  an  opinion  leader  is  most  likely  a  predictor  of  environmental  apparel  consumption   because   it   shows   that   the   consumer   is   self-­‐confident   and   knowledgeable   about   the   product  category  which  he  or  she  influences  others  in.  This  would  likely  be  necessary  in   the   case   of   environmental   apparel.   At   the   same   time   being   an   opinion   seeker   the   consumer  is  not  likely  to  be  engaged  in  environmental  apparel  consumption  unless  is  it   because  he  or  she  is  surrounded  by  environmentally  friendly  opinion  leaders  and  even   then  they  might  not  be  consuming  apparel  with  actual  regards  to  the  environment  but   just   copying   what   the   opinion   leader   does.   Out   of   the   15   variables   on   Kahle’s   list   of   values,   two   were   significant;  placing   importance   on   self-­respect   (B   =   0.368)   and   on   feeling   a   sense   of   accomplishment   (B   =   -­‐0.416).   When   the  importance   of   self-­respect   increases   in   the   consumer   so   does  environmental   apparel   consumption.   This   can   be  

explained  by  looking  at  the  concept  of  self-­respect.  Consumers  who  place  an  importance   on   this   are   motivated   to   do   good   things   in   order   to   increase   their  self-­respect   such   as   doing  good  for  others  including  the  environment  and  consuming  environmental  apparel,   as   well   as   choosing   not   to   consume   clothing   items   that   are   bad   for   the   environment.  

Placing   importance   on  a   sense   of   accomplishment,   on   the   other   hand,   is   a   negative   predictor  of  this  behavior,  meaning  that  as  feeling  a  sense  of  accomplishment  takes  on  a   more   central   part   of   a   consumer’s   life,   this   same   consumer   will   consume   less   environmental  apparel.  This  might  be  because  an  increase  in  the  importance  of  feeling  a   sense  of  accomplishment  means  that  the  respondent  is  more  focused  on  a  specific  goal  in   his  or  her  life,  such  as  work  or  family,  which  does  not  leave  any  space  for  the  conscious   choice  in  relation  to  environmental  apparel  consumption  and  this  therefore  diminishes.    

Finally,  out  of  the  various  questions  from  Malhotra’s  self-­‐concept  scale,  on  two  proved  to   be   of   statistical   significance   (sig.   ≤   0.050).   The   data   showed   that   consumers   who   consider   themselves   as   more  contemporary   vs.   non-­contemporary   (B   =   -­‐0.238)   also   consumed   more   environmental   apparel   or   at   least   in   a   more   environmental   way.   This   variable   is   therefore   a   negative   predictor   of   behavior.   This   is   most   likely   due   to   environmentalism  and  sustainability  fitting  in  with  what  is  considered  contemporary  vs.  

non-­contemporary.  The  more  modern  respondents  perceive  themselves,  the  more  likely   they   are   to   behave   in   an   environmentally   friendly   way   when   it   comes   to   fashion   consumption.   This   is   worth   noting,   as   it   tells   something   about   the   likelihood   of   future   generations   to   adopt   environmentally   friendly   practices,   given   that   is   it   still   a   contemporary   issue.   This   goes   along   with   the   second   finding,   which   was   significant   within  the  items  on  Malhotra’s  scale,  namely  orthodox  vs.  liberal  values.  Here  the  data   showed  that  the  respondents,  who  considered  themselves  as  more  liberal,  also  engaged   in  more  environmental  apparel  consumption,  which  underlines  the  previous  finding.  This   is   interesting,   although   somewhat   obvious,   as   it   indicates   a   connection   with   political   views  and  willingness  to  engage  in  sustainable  consumption  practices  just  as  Thøgersen   (2010)  has  mentioned.  It  can  also  be  explained,  as  consumers  who  are  more  liberal  than   orthodox   are   more   likely   to   change   their   consumption   patterns   and   embrace   new   practices,  such  being  environmentally  friendly  and  recognizing  a  need  to  engage  in  such   behavior.  Ability  Variables  

Moving  on  to  the  ability  factors,  they  account  for  44.9%  (R2  =  0.449,  sig.  =  0.000)  of  the   variance  in  environmental  apparel  consumption  behavior  and  40.6%  when  adjusted,  see   table  one.  This  makes  the  ability  construct  by  far  the  most  influential  in  explaining  the   variance  in  behavior  when  looking  at  the  environmental  apparel  consumption.  Looking  at   table   three,   three   variables   proved   to   be   significant   (sig.   ≤   0.050)   under   the   ability   construct   and   these   included  skepticism   of   environmental   product   claims,  label   use   and   finally   (objective)   environmental   apparel   knowledge.   Here   the   most   important   independent   variable   is,   again   not   surprisingly  Label   use   (Beta   =   0.543),   followed   by   (objective)  environmental  apparel  knowledge  (Beta=  0.237).  

The  most  important  of  the  three  significant  variables  was,  as  mentioned,  label  use  (Beta  

=  0.543,  B  =  1.310).  This  means  that  the  more  the  consumer  uses  environmental  or  eco-­‐

labels  when  shopping  for  fashion  items,  the  more  they  tend  to  engage  in  environmental   apparel  consumption  too.  This  finding  noteworthy,  as  it  shows  that  the  implementation   of   environmental   labels   actually   does   lead   to   an   increase   in  environmental   apparel   consumption   and   environmentally   friendly   behavior   in   the   consumers   who   uses   them.  

This   in   turn   speaks   to   increased   awareness   of   the   existing   labels   and   perhaps   the   introduction  of  new  ones.    

The   next   finding,   which   was   that   (objective)   environmental   apparel   knowledge   (B   =   0.307),  predicts  environmental  apparel  consumption  is  also  very  interesting.  Even  though   this  might  seem  very  apparent,  it  still  proves  that  increased  knowledge  of  the  issues  of   the  current  fashion  industry  and  market  leads  to  increased  consumption  and  behavior,   which   is   more   friendly   to   the   environment.   The   reason   why   the   instrument   refers   to   objective  knowledge,  is  because  it  aims  to  measure  knowledge  without  directly  asking  to   it.  This  finding,  like  the  previous,  speaks  for  increasing  awareness  and  information  about   environmental  fashion  and  apparel  to  promote  more  sustainable  practices  and  behavior   in   consumers.   Peattie   (2001)   however,   argues   that   knowledge   may   also   prevent   consumers   from   purchasing   products   that   are   marketed   as   sustainable   because   knowledge  might  enable  consumers  to  notice  potential  shortcomings  in  the  products  or   in  the  given  company’s  claims  of  sustainability,  thus  finding  that  the  product  does  not   meet   their   expectations.   This,   however,   was   not   supported   by   the   findings   of   this  


The   last   significant   finding   under   the   ability   construct   was   the   positive   correlation   between   environmental   apparel   consumption   and   consumer’s   skepticism   of   environmental  product  claims  (B  =  0.433).  This  is  interesting,  due  to  the  fact  that  it  points   out   that   with   increased  skepticism   of   environmental   product   claims   come   increased   environmental  apparel  consumption.  This  may  seem  like  an  oxymoron  but  actually  it  is   very   likely   that   increased   skepticism   leads   to   increased   environmental   apparel   consumption  and  behavior  because,  as  consumers  become  more  skeptic  they  very  likely   also   become   more   informed   and   interested,   which   lead   to   more   environmentally   friendly  behavior.  It  is  here  important  to  remember  that  the  instrument  which  measures   environmental   apparel   consumption   not   only   measures   actual   consumption   but   also   environmentally   friendly   behavior,   such   as   buying   clothes   that   can   be   used   for   a   long   time  or  washed  at  low  degrees.  Please  see  appendix  one  for  a  full  view  of  the  questions   in  this  instrument.  Opportunity  Variables  

As  with  the  other  dependent  variables,  opportunity  did  not  explain  a  great  percentage  of   the   variance   in   behavior   for  environmental   apparel   consumption,   as   can   be   seen   from   table   one.   This   is   due   to   the   same   reasons   as   discussed   in   the   sections   above.   The   opportunity   construct   was   however   significant   and   explained   10%   (R2   =   0.010,   sig.   =   0.017)  of  the  variance  in  the  behavior  for  environmental  apparel  consumption  and  0.7%  

(adjusted   R2   =   0.007,   Sig.   0.017)   of   the   variance   when   accounted   for   the   sample   size.  

Again,   no   single   instrument   proved   to   be   statistically   significant   (sig.   ≤   0.050)   in   predicting  behavior,  see  table  four.  All  Independent  Variables  

Exploring  the  regression  of  environmental  apparel  consumption  with  all  the  independent   variables   shows   that   they   explain   71.1%   (R2   =   0.711,   sig.   =   0.000)   of   the   variance   in   behavior  and  53.2%  (adjusted  R2  =  0.532)  when  adjusted.  However,  looking  at  table  five,   only  three  proved  to  be  of  significance;  opinion  seeker,  environmental  concern  and  label   use.  Label  use  (Beta  =  0.402)  is  the  overall  most  important  construct.  Second  is  opinion   seeker   (Beta   =   -­‐0.321),   displaying   an   inverse   prediction   on   behavior.   Out   of   the   these  

Table  1:  Regression  summary  table.  

three  variables,  label  use  (B  =  0.970)  was  as  previously  mentioned  the  most  influential   predictor  with  a  beta  coefficient  of  0.402  vs.  the  second  most  influential,  opinion  seeker   (B   =   -­‐0.621)   with   a   negative   beta   coefficient   of   -­‐0.321.   This   was   in   agreement   with   expectations,  as  label  use  is  part  of  the  ability  construct,  which  was  the  most  predictive   of  the  MOAB  framework  and  it  was  also  the  most  influential  within  the  construct  itself.  

This   finding   is   noteworthy,   as   previously   mentioned,   because   it   shows   that   labels   do   have  a  positive  effect  and  it  therefore  warrants  more  focus  on  this  tool  when  trying  to   stimulate   more   environmental   and   sustainable   behavior   in   connection   with   fashion   consumption.  As  for  the  opinion  seeker  variable,  it  is  also  a  confirmation  of  the  previous   findings,  this  time  under  the  motivation  construct.  It  is  an  interesting  finding  because  it   shows  that  independence,  which  is  not  seeking  out  the  advice  and  influence  of  others,   predicts   the   behavior   in   question.   This   knowledge   can   be   used   when   trying   to   locate   possible  change  ambassadors  during  campaigns  for  sustainable  consumption  practices.  

The   last   of   the   significant   variables   when   looking   at   all   independent   variable   together   was  environmental  concern  (B  =  0.333).  This  is  again  a  very  interesting  finding  which  is   supported   by   the   fact   that   it   was   also   the   most   important   variable   in   explaining   environmental   apparel   consumption   under   the   motivation   construct.   It   shows   that,   as   concern   for   the   environment   increases   so   does  environmental   apparel   consumption,   which   is   environmentally   friendly   behavior   in   connection   with   fashion   consumption.  

This  in  turn  speaks  for  consumer  information  about  the  consequences  of  current  fashion   production   and   consumption   practices.                                                                     .  

Table  2:  Regression  of  motivation  variables.  

Table  3:  Regression  of  ability  variables.  

Table  4:  Regression  of  opportunity  variables.  

Table  5:  Regression  of  all  independent  variables.