Clothes and consumer behaviour: changing consumers purchase through raising awareness for durability
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This master’s thesis has been about how we, as consumers, can be better equipped to make purchases for long-lasting clothes, to do so, we must change our behavior. The first priority is to reduce the growing consumption of low quality clothing. There are a number of solutions that deal with how we can repair, recycle and reuse our garments. But all of these solutions are aimed at the end of the product’s lifetime. The main problem lies further up the value chain, where the clothes are often produced in poor quality which does not satisfy the users’ wishes for social and technical durability. If we are better equipped to buy clothes of better durability, we will ideally own the clothes longer which will reduce the number of purchases and amounts of waste in the long run. As consumers, we often think that this is not something we can do something about, but is that really true? We as consumers stand with more power over the clothing industry than we think. With our purchase choices, we can help shape the future of the industry. By taking more conscious purchase choices for better quality clothing, we can help ”push” the industry in a direction where they see that making durable clothing will pay off. Not all clothes get worn out quickly, we all have some clothes we’ve had for years and years. The experts agree and encourages us to: buy clothes of better durability! But the big question is how? What if there was a solution that could guide us to find such long-lasting clothes? Today there are very few solutions that actually help us find durable clothes. This thesis has consisted of exploring, mapping and testing various areas that can lead us to a solution that satisfies the needs of the users, while simultaneously challenging them to change behavior. This as been done through interviews with experts in the textile industry and studies with young women aged 16-19 years. Together with the target group, through interviews and workshops, I have developed ideas and concepts that can help them to change their purchasing behavior. Based on findings from the target group and from experts from the textile industry, I have developed a conceptual solution on how we can become more aware of which clothes that will have good durability. Behind this solution lies a strategy for contributing to research that can lead us to set a definition of durability, with the aim to work towards developing a quality labelling for clothing.
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