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Research  Design

The   research   design   of   this   paper   is   grounded   in   quantitative   research   given   the   exploratory  nature  of  the  research  question,  which  is  to  explore  the  behavior  of  a  nation   through  a  cross  sectional  study  (Mark  et  al.,  2012).  This  is  also  in  accordance  with  the   scientific  approach  and  the  adopted  theory  of  science  stance  already  discussed.  A  survey   consisting   of   a   questionnaire   was   developed   to   answer   the   research   question   and   hypotheses.   The   aim   of   the   questionnaire   was   to   investigate   the   knowledge,   habit,   cognitive  capabilities  and  other  resources  of  young  Swedish  consumers,  all  in  entailed  in   the   MOAB   model.   The   survey   was   built   using   the   findings   of   previous   research   in   the   field  of  sustainable  consumption  behavior  and  consumer  behavior,  as  the  salient  beliefs   and   motives   of   the   target   population   were   not   known.   The   development   of   this   questionnaire  was  therefore  carried  out  using  already  developed,  tested  and  validated   instruments  as  it’s  foundation.  These  instruments  will  be  discussed  in  further  detail  in   the  sections  beneath.    


Figure   4:   Research   onion   adapted   for   this   paper.   Inspired   by   Research   methods   for   business  students  (Mark  et  al.,  2012).  

The  research  for  this  paper  was  carried  out  in  conjunction  with  that  of  a  larger  study  on   sustainable   fashion   consumption   and   behavior,   which   was   carried   out   for   the   Mistra   Future   Fashion   by   Copenhagen   Business   School.   This   means   that   the   scales   used   to   gather   the   data   for   this   paper   only   made   up   a   small   portion   of   a   much   larger   2-­‐part   questionnaire  used  for  the  overall  study.    

3.4.1  Population  &  Sampling  

The   population   selection   for   the   questionnaire   has   been   based   on   the   findings   of   the   literature  review  presented  earlier  in  this  paper,  in  order  to  investigate  only  the  most   relevant   individuals.   According   to   previous   research   there   is   evidence   to   suggest   that   consumers  who  are  prone  to  exhibit  environmental  consciousness  and  behavior  in  the  

“USA   were   (relatively)   young,   well   educated,   and   politically   liberal”   (Ölander   &  

Thøgersen,  1995,  p.  12).  Butler  &  Francis  (1997)  also  found  that  younger  consumers  as  a   segment   are   more   likely   to   be   pro-­‐environmental.   The   same   authors   also   found   this   same  segment  to  be  more  likely  to  be  pro  government  regulations  on  the  area.  It  should   also   be   mentioned   that   Morgan   &   Birtwistle   (2009)   point   to   a   correlation   between   consumers’   interest   in   sustainable   consumption   and   age.   They,   however,   found   that   younger  consumers  tend  to  display  less  interest,  if  at  all,  towards  the  implications  of  fast   fashion   consumption   on   the   environment,   which   goes   against   what   the   other   studies   found.  Nevertheless,  this  paper  will  focus  on  young  consumers  (age  16-­‐30  years)  based   on   the   above   and   the   assumption   that   this   age   group’s   possibility   of   becoming   the   influencers  of  the  generations  to  come,  which  is  in  part  due  to  the  fact  that  most  fashion   influencers  are  of  relatively  young  age  (Butler  &  Francis,  1997;  Niinimäki,  2010).  Even   though   the   research   that   Ölander   &   Thøgersen   (1995)   refer   to,   in   the   above,   suggests   that   those   prone   to   pro-­‐environmental   behavior   are   well   educated,   it   only   covers   the   U.S.A.  and  it  has  not  been  confirmed  by  any  other  data  that  the  author  has  come  across   during   the   research   for   this   paper.   Therefore   the   sample   should   include   respondents   from  all  educational  levels  of  the  Swedish  population.    

As  for  gender,  there  has  been  previous  research  into  sustainable  fashion  that  has  been   conducted   using   samples   of   only   female   respondents.   The   argument   for   doing   so   has   been   that   female   consumers   represent   the   largest   and   most   relevant   group   of   fashion   consumers   (Morgan   &   Birtwistle,   2009).   However,   there   has   been   no   evidence   to  

indicate  that  female  consumers  are  also  the  most  influential  or  even  the  largest  group   when   it   comes   to   sustainable   fashion   consumption.   Therefore,   the   aim   of   this   investigation  will  be  to  get  an  even  distribution  between  male  and  female  respondents   for   the   questionnaire.   Based   on   these   findings,   the   population   will   be   composed   of   a   representative   sample   of   Swedish   fashion   consumers,   aged   16   to   30   years.   The   collaboration  with  the  Swedish  marketing  research  institute,  GfK  Sweden,  yielded  a  total   sample  size  of  1,175  respondents  (Mistra  future  fashion  field  report.2012),  as  the  aim  of   the   paper   was   to   get   a   sample   of   at   least   1,000   respondents   in   order   ensure   a   representative  sample  of  the  whole  nation  (Proctor,  2003)  of  Sweden.    

GfK  Sweden  carried  out  the  actual  non-­‐probability  sampling  by  means  of  their  consumer   panels.  This  was  done  based  on  demographic  variables  including  sex,  age,  education  and   region  and  thus  yielded  a  representative  sample  of  the  younger  consumers  in  Sweden  at   the  time  of  the  survey.  Non-­‐probability  sampling  is  a  valid  way  of  sampling  if  carried  out   correctly  (Jensen  &  Knudsen,  2009;  Proctor,  2003).  GfK  Sweden  has  both  the  means  and   experience  to  ensure  the  validity  of  the  sampling  carried  out.  

3.4.2  Survey  Design  

As   previously   mentioned,   the   questionnaire   for   this   paper   was   a   part   of   a   larger   investigation   regarding   sustainable   fashion   consumption   and   behavior.     There   will   therefore   be   parts   of   the   following   section   that   do   not   only   pertain   to   the   aim   of   this   paper  but  also  to  that  of  the  rest  of  the  survey.  However,  it  is  not  within  the  aim  of  this   paper  to  go  into  detail  with  the  overall  investigation  of  the  questionnaire  and  the  parts   of  it  that  lay  outside  the  scope  of  this  paper  will  therefore  not  be  dealt  with  in  detail.  

Once  the  instruments  and  scales  for  the  questionnaire  had  been  decided  upon  and  pre-­‐

tested,  they  were  handed  over  to  GfK  Sweden,  who  then  created  the  online  survey  from   the   text   and   scales   provided   to   them.   The   survey   was   then   carried   out   on   consumer   panels  available  to  GfK  Sweden.  GfK  Sweden  provided  the  Copenhagen  Business  School   with  all  the  data  in  the  form  of  a  SPSS  file  once  all  answers  required  in  the  sample  were   collected.  

3.4.3  Data  Collection  

The   data   collection   for   the   survey   was   carried   out   online.   When   making   use   of   online  

surveys,   it   is   important   to   be   aware   of   the   hazards   and   implication   connected   with   online  data  collection.  One  of  the  more  severe  hazards  is  that  it  is  very  hard  to  select  a   representative   sample   due   to   the   difficulty   of   delimitation   of   the   population   in   the   chosen  sample  (Andersen  &  Hansen,  2009).  Another  issue  is  that  there  is  a  higher  risk  of   participants  opting  out  or  quitting  before  they  are  done.  This  is  because  it  is  much  easier   to  opt  out  or  quit  midways  when  on  a  computer  than  when  the  respondent  is  faced  with   another  person  interviewing  him  or  her.  However,  there  are  also  great  benefits  to  the   use  of  online  surveys,  including  the  quality  of  the  data  collected.  As  oppose  to  traditional   data   collection   by   use   of   an   interviewer,   online   data   collection   eliminates   the   possible   translation  errors,  bias  and  interference  of  the  interviewer  (Andersen  &  Hansen,  2009;  

Proctor,  2003).  Another  issue  is  the  bias  of  some  socio-­‐demographic  segments  towards   not  participating  or  even  have  the  possibility  to  participate  in  online  surveys  (Proctor,   2003).  Andersen  &  Hansen  (2009),  point  out  that  some  surveys  carried  out  in  Denmark   point   to   young   males   of   higher   education   being   more   prone   to   participate   in   online   survey   than   older   uneducated   females.   This,   however,   does   not   seem   to   represent   a   problem  in  the  data  that  has  been  gathered  for  this  paper.  

The  actual  data  collection  was  carried  out  as  a  part  of  a  larger  investigation  regarding   sustainable   fashion   consumption   and   behavior   in   Sweden,   which   was   comprised   of   a   split  2-­‐part  questionnaire.  The  first  part  of  the  questionnaire  concerned  general  fashion   related   behavior,   lifestyle   information,   psychographics   and   demographic   information.  

The  second  part  was  concerned  with  sustainability  and  sustainable  fashion  information   on   everything   from   attitude   and   knowledge   to   purchase,   use   and   disposal   of   fashion   products.  Each  part  of  the  questionnaire  took  approximately  20-­‐30  minutes  to  complete   and  the  questionnaires  were  administered  between  March  19th  and  April  13th  of  2012.  

Respondents  were  given  the  two  parts  of  the  survey  on  two  different  occasions  starting   with  part  one.