Motivations for Consumption of Collaboratively Customized Ethnic Dress an Exploration of African Immigrant Woman in the US

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2018-01-01
Authors
Opiri, Jane
Stannard, Casey
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Abstract

Each immigrant group expresses their cultural identity by using unique artifacts, such as ethnic dresses. In their new home, immigrants often create their traditional clothing styles and accessories and use them for self-identity, social identity, and ethnic identity. This qualitative study explored the motivations for consumption of collaboratively customized ethnic dress among African immigrant women in the US. The term, collaborative customization, was coined to describe how African women design ethnic dress in collaboration with a tailor. Gutman's (1982) Means-end chain (MEC) theory was used. Participants were motivated to consume their ethnic dress because of attributes such as durability, comfortability, quality, aesthetics; benefits such as fit, satisfaction, self-esteem; and values such as social identity and group identity. Other patterns that emerged included emotional attachment and special memories, clothing longevity and cultural identity. The implication is for future development of designing using collaborative customization that can impact sustainability.

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