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Rethinking fast : understanding fast fashion and slow fashion consumers

Ng, TM ORCID: 0000-0003-2571-4520 2020 , 'Rethinking fast : understanding fast fashion and slow fashion consumers', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Today, fashion not only engulfs our daily life but also our environment. Fuelled by
globalisation, technological advancement, fierce competition and consumers’ need for
instant gratification (Djelic & Ainamo 1999; Tokatli 2007; Rahman & Gong 2016), there
has been a transformational shift in the way consumers shop, utilize and discard clothing,
which has major social and environmental implications (Perry 2018; SBS 2018; Diddi et
al. 2019; Liu 2019). Given there is a dearth of research into the context of fast fashion
consumers versus slow fashion consumers, the present study aims to bridge this research
gap through conducting an exploratory study to examine fast fashion and slow fashion
consumers’ characteristics, decision-making process as well as their risk perceptions,
fashion involvement and purchase intention.
This study applies the Engel-Blackwell-Miniard Model (EBM Model) to study the seven
major stages of the consumer decision-making process of fast fashion and slow fashion
consumers. Additionally, the study attempts to shed light on the specific types of
perceived risk associated with fast fashion and slow fashion consumers as well as
investigate which dimension of risk perception predicts their fashion involvement and
purchase intention.
The present study adopted a concurrent nested mixed methods approach to provide a
rich assessment and a comprehensive view of fashion consumers’ purchase and
consumption behaviour. Data for the study were collected by a self-administered online
survey through an Australian commercial research panel provider in a national sample
of 380 Australian female fashion consumers, aged eighteen years or older.
The findings of the study indicated that slow fashion consumers are younger and possess
a higher socio-economic status and educational background than fast fashion consumers.
In terms of their fashion purchase behaviour, fast fashion consumers purchase fashion
more often, purchase impulsively and are more experienced as regular shoppers.
Furthermore, results revealed that fast fashion has higher perceived affordability than
slow fashion, whereas slow fashion has higher perceived sustainability, durability, social
responsibility, design, and quality than fast fashion. The study further revealed that fast
fashion and slow fashion consumers act differently during the seven stages of the
consumer decision-making process in purchasing fashion. The findings of the study
identified that slow fashion consumers possess lower performance risk as well as higher
product involvement and purchase decision involvement in their fashion purchases than
fast fashion consumers. Given that fast fashion and slow fashion consumers’ desire to
purchase fashion are triggered by different factors, the study found that purchase
intention did not vary by the type of fashion consumption.
The findings of this research make a significant contribution to both the body of consumer
behaviour and retail marketing knowledge. A major contribution of this study is the
development of a conceptual model, based on empirical findings and the consumer
decision-making model, which depicts the relationships among the consumer decision-making
process, risk perceptions, fashion involvement and purchase intention associated
with fast fashion versus slow fashion consumers. From a practical perspective, marketing
practitioners can make use of the study’s findings as guidelines to identify common
motivators across the two groups of fashion consumers to devise appropriate retail
marketing strategies and marketing communication tactics to their customers.
Additionally, the results of the study can assist fashion retail operators design and
implement an optimal shopping experience by addressing identified risks as well as
formulating socially and environmentally sustainable practices.
Significantly, by understanding fashion consumers’ current level of awareness and
knowledge about the social and environmental impacts of their apparel purchasing
decisions, the findings of this study will allow the fashion industry, policy makers,
educators, and community groups to implement environmental and sustainability
education programmes and awareness campaigns to facilitate changes in consumers’
purchasing behaviour and to promote knowledge and commitment to minimizing the
impact of fashion purchases on the environment.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Ng, TM
Keywords: fast fashion, slow fashion, consumer decision making process, perceived risk, fashion involvement, purchase intention
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 the author

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