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Schönborg, Linnea, 2022. There is no such thing as a free return : consumer's perception of online fast fashion returns. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development

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Today's fashion industry is one of the top industries polluting our planet. The leading sector within the fashion industry is the fast fashion sector. Fast fashion clothes are clothes that are produced and manufactured at a high-speed rate for a lower price. Large fast fashion retailers receive new clothes to the stores and online with higher turnaround than in any fashion industry. The world is digitizing, and the fashion industry is following this digitization. The increasing demand for fast fashion online is leading to an enormous number of returns; in fact, 35% of all online clothes are returned, and 19% of these returned clothes are the same but in different sizes (Bennett, 2021). These actions taken by consumers have become a norm and a new way of consuming fast fashion. This raises the question: how do consumers understand and create meaning around the online shopping process and the high rates of returns? This thesis will focus on the online fast fashion industry and specifically the consumer's perspective to understand the high rates of returns. The data collected for this thesis was through eight interviews to develop the perspective on how consumers understand the issue of sustainable fashion and returns.

The data from the interviews were used to conduct a frame analysis. The purpose of this method was to identify the different frames that were present from the consumer's perspective. This resulted in four frames: knowledge, responsibility, fashion access, and expectations. These identified frames contribute to a better understanding of how consumers comprehend the situation around sustainable fashion and returns. The knowledge frame resulted in one of the more significant results in this thesis: education and knowledge are absent from the consumer's perspective. Even though the demand is present from the consumers to learn more about the topic, they do not know where to find the information. The responsibility frame also focused on the education aspect. Still, it focused on how those consumers who draw on this frame feel a certain pressure and responsibility for the millennial generation since they are the consumers who understand the urgency of this matter and do not see actions taken. To continue, the fashion access frame focused on how social media has significantly impacted consumers' online consumption habits. Finally, the expectations frame was identified through the consumers who take for granted that online fast fashion retailers offer free returns.

This thesis adds to the research gap on the issue of the high returns that occur in the fast fashion online industry, the frame analysis aided in understanding how consumers perceive the subject. More research should be conducted to cover more perspectives and to possibly find additional solutions that have not been discovered within this thesis that can help reduce fashion’s impact on the climate.

Main title:There is no such thing as a free return
Subtitle:consumer's perception of online fast fashion returns
Authors:Schönborg, Linnea
Supervisor:Mutter, Amelia
Examiner:Westberg, Lotten
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2022
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:Fast fashion, online returns, purchasing stages, consumer’s perception
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Consumer economics
Economics and management
Deposited On:17 Oct 2022 07:13
Metadata Last Modified:18 Oct 2022 01:01

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