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Vlasenko, Larisa, 2020. Sustainability communication in clothing stores : exploring the interplay between attitudes, behaviour and the context of in-store apparel shopping. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



It is acknowledged nowadays that people’s attitudes cannot serve as valid predictors of their behaviour since our growing environmental awareness and concern do not appear to be translated into more conscious consumer behaviour. It is argued that one of the reasons for this discrepancy may be that human behaviour is not determined by motivations alone and the context in which it is performed may substantially affect it. Hence, this thesis attempts to enrich the understanding of the complexity of the attitude-behaviour gap’s phenomenon by paying special attention to the context of apparel consumption, i.e. a physical clothing store and its sustainability communication. This is achieved by exploring the interplay between consumers’ attitudes, behaviour and shopping experiences with their interpretations of sustainability communication in clothing stores. To do this, goal-faming theory developed within environmental psychology is complemented by qualitative methodology widely used in environmental communication but largely ignored in environmental psychology. This combination is intended to demonstrate that the exchange between these disciplines can be balanced and mutually beneficial. As a result, three patterns of the interplay between attitudes, behaviour and context are identified. The first pattern (“extreme and sceptical”) is distinguished among people who either intensely dislike or enjoy shopping and tend to negatively view sustainability communication in clothing stores. The second pattern (“ambivalent and favourably disposed”) comprises those who are more ambivalent about shopping may more positively respond to sustainability communication in stores. Lastly, the third pattern (“susceptible and concerned”) is discovered among individuals who strive to reduce their apparel consumption and therefore are more prone to associate shopping for new garments with the feelings of guilt. They may welcome more sustainability communication in stores but can also be suspicious of the brands’ motives behind it. Based on the findings, implications and suggestions for future research, policy and clothing brands’ communication practice are discussed.

Main title:Sustainability communication in clothing stores
Subtitle:exploring the interplay between attitudes, behaviour and the context of in-store apparel shopping
Authors:Vlasenko, Larisa
Supervisor:Grubbström, Ann
Examiner:Bergeå, Hanna
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:sustainability communication, apparel shopping, context, attitude-behaviour gap, goal-framing theory, consumption
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Social sciences, humanities and education
Deposited On:15 Oct 2020 08:37
Metadata Last Modified:16 Oct 2020 01:01

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