Consumer response toward apparel products in advertisements containing environmental claims

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Kim, Hye-Shin
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Mary Lynn Damhorst
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Textiles and Clothing

The marketplace orientation in which consumer decisions toward product purchase, use, and disposal are shaped by a desire to preserve and protect the environment is growing. As such, environmental attitudes of consumers have influenced clothing purchase decisions. The concern over the interdependencies among human societies and the environment has brought environmentalism to the forefront of business marketing strategies. The textiles and apparel industry has been challenged by such ecological concerns as pollution of air and water in the textile manufacturing process, waste disposal problems with textile fibers, and potential shortage of raw materials from production of synthetic fibers. Many apparel companies have embraced the "green marketing" concept in an effort to capture the new environmentally responsible market. However, environmental claims in ads can be confusing to consumers and may not lead to favorable consumer response;Borrowing theoretical frameworks from advertising, a process model of consumer response toward apparel products in environmental ads was developed. A path model was hypothesized in accordance with several ad processing theories. The path model explains consumer environmental attitude and behavior in relation to apparel products and advertisements;A convenience sample of undergraduate students (N = 274) at a midwestern university was randomly distributed an advertisement portfolio (an experimental ad and three filler ads) and a questionnaire. The experimental ad promoted a fictitious brand t-shirt; one of three different types of environmental claims for "organic cotton", "recycled hang tags," and "donation of profits" or a control statement was included in the ad. Apparel-related and other measures were adapted from advertising, environmental, and textiles and clothing studies;Some differences among paths for environmental claim types were found. Overall, the influential role of perceived environmental claim credibility on the evaluation of the ad as well as the product can be noted. However, components of the model that explain consumer response to the advertisement and product showed stronger relationships. Linkages of environmental and apparel product attitudinal variables with consumer response variables (e.g., involvement with the visual and verbal aspects of the ad) were less significant.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1995