Skip to main content

Towards consumption reduction in clothing: An exploration of the motivators, facilitators and impediments to buying less

Natalie Dukes

Frequently changing trends or ‘fast fashion’ is often associated with the unsustainable exploitation of resources and accused of promoting a culture of disposability, waste and materialism.

This study aims to enhance understanding of the social dynamics, consumer attitudes and behaviour that has normalised frequent fashion shopping with a view to exploring whether and how the trend of increasing garment volume may be reversed in the interests of sustainability.

It is anticipated that the study will be of interest to academic, practitioner, policy-making and public audiences

i) Academic

For an academic audience the study will have impact via an original contribution to knowledge presenting

  • A current and more complete picture of the frequent fashion buyer’s motivations, attitudes and behaviour
  • Insight into
    • the ways that shopping for clothes delivers feelings of wellbeing
    • the desire for newness, frequency and volume
    • actual and perceived social pressures that influence behaviour
    • the nature of the beliefs and attitudes that have normalised and perpetuate overconsumption

ii)   Practitioner – Fashion Industry

For a fashion industry audience, the study provides new insight into consumer fashion shopping behaviour, pleasures, frustrations, sources of influence and early indication of potential shifts in behaviour.

iii) Policy maker

The study will have impact for policy makers as it will provide suggestions regarding the type of behavioural interventions that might be most readily received to successfully deliver consumption reduction in the interests of sustainability. The findings related to public attitudes towards change may assist the progress of organisations such as DEFRA’s Waste Resources Action Programme responsible for formulating the UK Sustainable Clothing Action Programme.

iv) Public

Issues of sustainability, wellbeing, happiness and quality of life are of general interest to a public audience. 

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023