College Students' Awareness, Attitudes, and Buying Behaviors involving Sustainable Methods in the Textile Industry

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Swaminathan, Meena
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
This thesis explores college students’ awareness, attitudes, and buying behaviors involving sustainable clothing due to the increasing concern with climate change and resource depletion. For this project, we surveyed undergraduate college students regarding their awareness of eco-friendly clothing, their attitudes towards sustainable initiatives, and their interest in purchasing sustainably-produced clothing given certain variables (e.g., price, quality, brand, etc.). We also measured the level of environmental concern among college students and how strong the correlation is between consumers’ eco-friendly attitudes and their willingness to pay a price premium for sustainable textiles (their buying behaviors). On average, respondents care about the environment, but they feel they are not aware of sustainable production methods that go into making textiles. There was a significant positive correlation between organic food and organic clothing consumption as well as a significant positive correlation between college students’ care for the environment and their willingness to pay a higher price. We also found that there is a higher favorability among college students towards sustainability than there is willingness to pay a premium. With this information, our goal is to help marketing executives and companies understand consumers’ attitudes and their likely reactions to sustainable initiatives in a marketing context.
Business, Sustainable fashion, eco-friendly attitudes, organic food, organic clothing, recycling methods