An exploratory investigation into fashion consumers and ethical issues in the industry
(2016) An exploratory investigation into fashion consumers and ethical issues in the industry, no. 88.
Purpose: The research aims to investigate the extent to which ethical issues in the fashion industry, comparing both animal rights and human rights, influence consumer attitude and behaviour. This study explores consumers' response to unethical practices in the fashion industry looking at awareness, attitudes and behaviours. Design/methodology/approach: This study followed a qualitative methodological approach where ten semi-structured interviews were conducted from Generation Y male and female fashion conscious consumers'. The data collection involved in-depth interviews on unethical practices in the fashion industry, this enabled for a deeper understanding into consumers' attitudes and behaviours. After carrying out the research, the results were fully transcribed, coded and themes were identified in relation to the aims and objectives. Findings: The research findings discovered that consumers are in fact aware of corporate social responsibility and showed awareness of human rights and animal rights in the fashion industry. The findings however, suggest although a proportion of consumers are aware of these ethical issues and show negative emotions, the majority still choose to purchase unethically. Research limitations: Limitations were identified throughout this study. Firstly, although appropriate for an honours dissertation, the sample size was relatively small therefore making it difficult gain great amounts of data. The second limitation found was that the sample was culturally narrow, by only taking place in Scotland, the research was limited to one country. The final limitation identified was time, conducting the interviews and transcribing the data was a lengthy process in which the researcher had to manage effectively in the specific timescale. Originality/value: The findings of this study provide a starting point for further research looking to compare attitudes and behaviours towards animal rights and human rights in the fashion industry. From the limitations above, recommendations were made for future research on the topic. Keywords: Animal Rights, Attitudes, Behaviours, Corporate Social Responsibility, Consumer Response, Ethics, Fashion Industry and Human Rights. Paper type: Dissertation