Sustainable fashion and the older consumer: Attitudes towards organic cotton purchases

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The purpose of this study is to improve understanding of organic apparel consumption by focusing on the older consumer. Data were collected with a mail survey of US health and natural foods consumers. Analysis of variance found that older consumers did not have significantly different levels of green self-identity, skepticism towards environmental purchase claims or intention to search for or purchase organic cotton apparel when compared with younger consumers. Further analysis of attitudes toward organic apparel purchases finds that support of organic farming and pro-environmental companies is significantly more important to consumers over 65 than to younger (under 45) consumers. Older consumers also value paying more for organic apparel more than younger consumers even thought they report significantly more difficulty in finding organic cotton products. However, the outcome of receiving health benefits or peach of mind from an organic apparel purchase was not more significantly important to any specific age group. The results of this study suggest that older US consumers are an important market for sustainable fashion products but that marketing to older consumers should focus on the broader societal benefits of organic cotton purchases rather than personal benefits.

Hustvedt, G., Dickinson, M.A. (2012). Sustainable fashion and the older consumer: Attitudes towards organic cotton purchases. International Journal of Home Economics, 4(2), 61-76.

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