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CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, NORTHRIDGE CONSUMER MOTIVATION OF CLOTHING DISPOSAL BEHAVIORS

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CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, NORTHRIDGE CONSUMER MOTIVATION OF CLOTHING DISPOSAL BEHAVIORS A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements For the Degree of Master Science in Family and Consumer
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CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, NORTHRIDGE CONSUMER MOTIVATION OF CLOTHING DISPOSAL BEHAVIORS A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements For the Degree of Master Science in Family and Consumer Sciences by Young Ju Lee December 2012 The graduate thesis of Young Ju Lee is approved: Rodica Kohn, M.Arch, MFA Date Wei Cao, Ph.D. Date JongEun Kim, Ph.D. Chair Date California State University, Northridge ii Acknowledgements This research was made possible through the efforts and helps of three committee members. Dr. Kim, I sincerely appreciate that you have provided a strong support and an excellent feedback throughout this research which has been invaluable on both an academic and personal level. Dr. Cao, I am extremely grateful for warm and thoughtful advices to keep working on my thesis. Professor Kohn, I sincerely appreciate for your thoughtful suggestions on several drafts for my thesis. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Signature Page Acknowledgements List of Figures List of Tables Abstract ii iii vii viii ix CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION 1 Problem Statement 2 Purpose of the Study 2 Significance of the Study 3 Limitation of the study 3 Definition of Terms 5 CHAPTER 2 - LITERATURE REVIEW 8 Environmental Footprint of Apparel and Textile Industry 8 Product Life Cycle in Disposal Stage 9 Product Life Cycle Approach with Clothing and Textile 11 Economic and Environmental Benefits of Product Life Cycle 12 Consumer Clothing Consumption 12 Clothing Consumption with Demographic Variables 13 Influences of Fast Fashion Consumption 14 Conscious Clothing Consumption 16 iv Motivation Behind Clothing Disposal Behavior 17 Demographics 17 Extrinsic Factors of Motivation 18 Intrinsic Factors of Motivation 19 Clothing Disposal Behaviors 21 Discarding 21 Donating 22 Recycling 23 Environmental Concerns 24 CHAPTER 3 - MEDETHOLOGY 26 Research Design 26 Sampling Plan 26 Procedure 26 Data Analysis 27 CHAPTER 4 - RESULT 30 Analysis of Clothing Life Cycle in the Disposal Stage 30 Consumer Clothing Disposal Behaviors and Motivations 34 Consumer s Environmental Concern for Clothing Disposal Behaviors 43 CAHPTER 5 - Conclusion 46 References 53 Appendix A - Research Protocol Approval 61 v Appendix B - Survey Question 64 vi LIST OF FIGURES Figure 2.1 Product Life Cycle 10 Figure 2.2 Clothing Consumption 13 Figure 2.3 Theoretical Model of Motivation and Clothing Disposal Behavior 24 vii LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1 Survey Question Classification 29 Table 4.1 Clothing Product Lifecycle in Disposal Behaviors 31 Table 4.2 Comparison of Donating Behavior 32 Table 4.3 Comparison of Recycling Behavior 34 Table 4.4 Comparison of Discarding Behavior 35 Table 4.5 Consumer Clothing Disposal Behaviors 36 Table 4.6 Demographics and Disposal Behaviors 37 Table 4.7 Analysis of Fast Fashion Shopping Behavior and Disposal Behaviors 39 Table 4.8 Consumer s Preferred Fast Fashion Shopping Stores 40 Table 4.9 Analysis of Extrinsic Factors and Disposal Behaviors 41 Table 4.10 Analysis of Intrinsic Factors and Disposal Behaviors 44 Table 4.11 Analysis of Environmental Concerns and Disposal Behaviors 45 viii ABSTRACT CONSUMER MOTIVATION OF CLOTHING DISPOSAL BEHAVIORS By Young Ju Lee Master of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences The purpose of this research is to explore consumer motivation of clothing disposal behaviors. The objectives are to analyze the clothing product life cycle in the disposal stage to investigate consumers clothing disposal behaviors, motivations, and environmental concerns. A pilot study design was used in order to effectively collect and analyze data from convenience samples with college students. The researcher conducted a survey at California State University Northridge (CSUN) and Santa Monica College (SMC) campuses. The survey questionnaire included questions related to consumer shopping behaviors, demographic information, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, disposal behaviors (donating, recycling, and discarding), and environmental concerns. Results pertaining to the clothing product life cycle indicated that the participants fast fashion clothing life was less than one year after purchase. The fast fashion clothing typically was donated to Goodwill yearly. Worn-out fast fashion clothing was recycled yearly. Damaged fast fashion clothing was worn every season before it was discarded. Most of the participants were between 18 and 29 years old and belonged to Generation Y. They liked to shop at fast fashion retailers such as Forever 21, H&M, Steven Madden, and ZARA. The participants clothing donation behavior was affected by fast fashion consumption. Their clothing disposal behaviors engaged with intrinsic factors such as environmental awareness, value, attitude, responsibility, environmental consciousness, and social norms. ix The findings of this study provided a better understanding of consumers complicated motivations and clothing disposal behaviors, and the research contributed to other consumer behavior research related to sustainability or marketing. x Chapter 1 Introduction According to the U.S. EPA report (2009), 12.7 million tons of textile wastes were generated in This statistic gradually increased increases to this day. Only 14.9% of this waste was recovered 1.9 million tons while Americans consumed 20.1 billion garments in 2007 (AAFA, 2007; Joung & Park-Poaps, 2011). Apparel and textile production processes require excessive use of water or energy, a large quantity of various toxic chemicals, and natural resources (Parvathi, Maruthavanan, & Prakash, 2009). So, the apparel and textile industry shoulder blame for their contribution to environmental pollution. Waste management policy is reinforced by governments in the United States and worldwide to restrain the use of landfills and the disposal of hazardous waste (Defra, 2008b; Keynote, 2007). The United States government used the campaign 3R (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) to educate people to minimize their waste and support recycling (Morgan & Birtwistle, 2009; Waste Aware Scotland, 2007; Waste Online, 2008). Due to globalized manufacturing systems, the price of clothing has drastically decreased (Claudio, 2007), resulting in a clothing influx from East Asia to Europe and the United States ( Ethical fashion forum ). Retailers rapidly display new styles within a short period of time (Crommentuijn-Marsh, Eckert, & Potter, 2010) to encourage consumers to purchase more clothing (Claudio, 2007). American culture encourages the consumption of a high volume of products, producing more waste without seriously considering the attending environmental concerns (Hawley, 2006). Fast fashion entices consumers to purchase more new clothing and discard older clothing to clear out overflowing closets for more clothes (Ha-Brookshire & Hodges, 2009). This pattern 1 creates landfills (Birtwistle & Moore, 2007), which are limited in scope and will be maxed out in ten years (Morgan & Birtwistle, 2009; Waste Aware Scotland, 2007; Waste Online, 2008). Meanwhile, the price of burying garbage in landfills rises (Hawley, 2006), and buried clothing requires more than 50 years to decompose, emitting a lot of CO2 in the process (Hawley, 2006). Public awareness of environmental concerns grows, but consumer awareness of this clothing consumption problem for the environment does not grow as quickly (Morgan & Birtwistle, 2009). Problem Statement Several previous researchers encountered limitations to their studies about disposal behaviors because scholars paid more attention to environmental concerns and environmentally responsible clothing consumption (Brosdahl & Carpenter, 2010). Investigation about consumer motivation behind clothing disposal behaviors is limited. Therefore, this study intended to investigate this matter. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this research was to explore consumer motivation behind clothing disposal behaviors. The objectives were as follows: 1. To analyze the clothing product life cycle in the discarding stage Describe how and what clothing traveled from consumers hands to landfills 2. To investigate consumer clothing disposal behaviors (donating, recycling, and discarding) and motivations that included intrinsic and extrinsic factors, demographics, and fast fashion consumption Intrinsic factors: environmental knowledge, environmental awareness, value, attitude, responsibility, and social norms 2 Extrinsic factors: society, economy, and culture Demographics: age, gender, education, and income Fast fashion consumption 3. To analyze consumer environmental concern about clothing disposal behaviors Environmental concerns: general environmental pollution in the planet, textile apparel waste problems, and sustainability Significance of the Study Much of the past research focused upon investigating consumer environmental behaviors especially related to organic foods or a group of environmentally related products (Follows & Jobber, 2000). This study wanted to expand to more fields of consumer environmental behavior research. Investigation is warranted into consumer clothing disposal behaviors, motivation, and environmental concerns given the rapid growth of consumer clothing consumption and textile waste problems. This investigation can assist green marketing techniques, as the selling of green products is not very successful (Meyer, 2001). The research into the motivation behind clothing disposal behavior may be significant to understand the weaknesses of green marketing. Limitations of the Study The participants consumption was limited to affordable, fast fashion clothing because of the participants lower incomes. The numbers of male and female participants were not equal or balanced because the majority of the students were female in the Family Consumer Department at CSUN and Apparel and Fashion Design & Merchandising Department at SMC. The use of a convenience sample taken from college students could not represent all generations of Americans. So, this study 3 could represent only college students motivations behind disposal behaviors. The survey included 56 questions that caused patterned answers. The participants disposal behaviors were various and irregular. Even though the researcher asked the same questions twice with different descriptions to test reliability, participants answered differently. 4 Definition of Terms Apparel consumption includes acquiring, storing, using, maintaining, and discarding (Winakor, 1969). Clothing disposal behaviors are that people dispose clothing with various methods behind motivations, and include resale, donation, reuse, and discarding (Shim, 1995). Compulsive buying is buying practices to compensate for unhappiness and/or lower selfesteem because it is motivated from strong and uncontrollable urges to purchase (Johnson & Attmann, 2009, p. 394; O Guginn & Famer, 1989). Discarding is that damaged or torn clothing, which is not usable for other people or outdated clothing, is abandoned in a trash bin (Birtwistle & Moore, 2007). Donating is taking clothing to charitable collection bins or donation centers (Birtwistle & Moore, 2007). Environmental concern is recognizing awareness about environmental problems and having a strong attitude for protecting environment (Albyrak, Caber, & Aksoy, 2010). Environmentalism requires an action with pro-environmental goals (Stern, 2000; Joung & Park- Poaps, 2011) that seek to minimize negative impact on nature when purchasing and disposing products (Joung & Park-Poaps, 2011). Environmentally conscious consumer recognizes importance of environmental issues and supports to other s well-being. Also, he/she has a higher intention to purchase environmentally responsible products (Shim, 1995). Extrinsic factors include institutional, economic, social, and cultural factors (Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002). Fast fashion is clothing available at increasingly lower prices and regarded as disposable 5 (Claudio, 2007). Fast fashion is mass produced, and a small quantity is available in each store. Fast fashion has a short lifespan in the store, as the store changes displays every three or four weeks. Similar styles copied from designer clothing are mass produced at the same time as the designer clothing (Ross & Harradine, 2010). Intrinsic factors include motivation, environmental knowledge, awareness, value, attitudes, emotion, responsibilities, and priorities (Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002). Impulsive buying is unplanned purchasing decisions made. Consumers allow themselves to buy things they do not need (Hausman, 2000). Post-consumer waste is an end consumer of textile or household goods made from textiles and fibers (Cuc &Vidovic, 2011). Pre-consumer waste is the remainder after producing materials in a manufacture process (Cuc & Vidovic, 2011). Product life cycle is a tool to rationalize connections from consumer s shopping behaviors and discarding behaviors (Woolridge, Ward, Phillips, Collins, & Gandy, 2005). Recycling clothing is used clothing, fibrous materials, and clothing scraps that are reused or converted into other materials from manufacturing processes. And these are used for other purposes (Cuc &Vidovic, 2011). Shopping behavior includes explanation of where and how consumer shops, comport level of making clothing purchase decisions for oneself, frequency of purchase, amount of time and money spent shopping (Kinley, Josiam, & Lockett, 2009). Sustainable consumption is that consumption supports the ability of current and future generations to meet their materials and other needs, without causing irreversible damage to the environment or loss of function in natural systems (Birtwistle & Moore, 2007, p. 211; Jackson, 6 2003 p. 14; OCSC, 2000). Textile waste is materials that are no longer reused or recycled into new materials, and buried in landfills (Hussey, Sinha, & Kelday, 2009). 7 Chapter 2 Literature Review Environmental Footprints of Apparel and Textile Industry The apparel and textile industry was blamed as the worst offender of pollution (Chase, 2009) because the textile products created environmental problems in every process of textile and clothing production (Chen & Burns, 2006). The environmental problems from the apparel and textile industry include water pollution, CO2 emission, textile waste, excessive use of pesticides, use of toxic chemicals, and contamination of soils (Chase, 2009). The industry annually produces two million tons of waste, three million tons of CO2, and 70 million tons of wastewater. These pollutants increase as rapidly as the consumption of clothing (Elena, 2011). The main environmental problems in the textile and apparel industry associated with water pollution are bleaching, dyeing, printing, finishing, mercerizing, and de-sizing (Parvathi et al., 2009). Textile and apparel production processes use 8,000 different synthetic chemicals. It generates the highest volume of toxic wastewater of all industries. Improper generation of wastewater causes serious water pollution that negatively affects human health (Elena, 2011). The most demanded material in the textile and apparel industry is cotton, which requires massive amounts of pesticides, water, and artificial fertilizers. Cotton production uses 25% of all pesticides, but the cotton plants absorb only 10% of these and the remaining 90% flows into water (Yperen, 2006). China, one of the biggest producers of cotton in the world, suffers from abnormal water pollution from this process (Raybin, 2010). The second pollution problem is air pollution, caused by gas emissions from the textile and apparel industry processes of dyeing, printing, and curing. These toxic atmospheric emissions are the most difficult types to sample, test, and to purify (Parvathi et al., 2009). 8 Moreover, clothing and textile waste produces big amounts of CO2 while clothing decomposes in landfills. The garments then need after-care such as washing, drying, and ironing; the laundering of clothing accounts for 40-80% of greenhouse gas emissions (Chase, 2009). The environmental impacts from after-care are largely ignored by consumers and the textile and apparel industry (Chen & Burns, 2006). A high volume of textile and apparel waste is generated each year. One average American generates about 83.9 pounds of textiles each year, equivalent to 191 T-shirts. However, only 10 pounds, or 22.8 T-shirts, are recycled (EPA; Hawley, 2009). The other 73.9 pounds, or T-shirts, are buried in a landfill. So, loss of landfill space is now a serious issue (Cuc & Vidovic, 2011). Another environmental problem is the leakage from landfill space. Research indicates that 82% of landfill spaces have leaked. Hazardous liquids leaking from the landfills pollute freshwater sources nearby (USEPA). To protect the environment, the apparel and textile industry should adopt environmentally friendly business concepts to improve their technology by saving energy and water and using fewer chemicals for dyeing and finishing processes (Parvathi et al., 2009). Product Life Cycle in Disposal Stage The first life cycle theory was adopted in the 1970s to accommodate commercial and political pressures about environmental awareness of consumption (Cooper, 2005). The model accounted for CO2 emissions, energy consumption, and resources used during production, distribution, use, and disposal of a product. The product life cycle approach was applied to address an efficiency of production and consumption and increase the eco-efficiency of a product. The product life cycle was adopted by various companies to reduce any negative impacts on the 9 environment, society, economy, and resources (Hertwich, 2005). The product life cycle explains how clothing possesses a life cycle from the raw material stage to the landfill stage. The clothing product life cycle gives ideas about how to extract maximum benefits from products without harming the environment or losing economic benefits. The point for deriving maximum benefits from products is at the disposal stage. If the products can be reused through donating or recycling, their lives are prolonged. However, if the products are discarded in landfills, their lives end. Therefore, the disposal stage is a significant point for products to expand their lives and produce economic and environmental benefits. This research focuses upon the disposal stage to describe what kinds of clothing are sent to each of the three stages (discarding, donating, and recycling) and how the clothing moves among the stages (see Figure 2.1). Figure 2.1. Product Life Cycle (UNEP) Discarding Donating Focused Stages for Research 10 In product life cycle theory, key social actors expand the range of responsibility to include environmental implications along the entire life cycle of the product, process, or activity (SETAC, 1997). Figure 2.1 describes the whole process from natural resource to landfill to increase environmental, social, and economic benefits (UNEP). The product life cycle begins with the input of natural resources to extract raw materials. The raw materials are mainly distributed in the stage of design and production and in the stage of packaging and distribution. The stages of design and production as well as packaging and distribution consume the most energy. Products are then used and maintained by consumers who eventually need to make a decision at the disposal stage regarding discarding, donating, or recycling. Donating catapults these products back into the stage of use and maintenance, extending product life. Recycling sends the product back into the stage of design and production, which is the most energy-and resource-efficient decision. Discarding buries products in landfills, ending the product life cycle, and it is inefficient, a waste of resources that further pollutes the environment (UNEP). Changes to the product life cycle could reduce environmental impacts by reducing the use of water, landfills, and greenhouse gas from the extraction of raw materials. Also, these changes could
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