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Fast, Adam, 2023. Understanding men’s clothing consumption : a contribution to further research on sustainable clothing consumption. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



The growing environmental problem of the clothing industry has resulted in trillions of litres of wastewater and nearly a tenth of the world’s carbon emissions every year. The Western world's demand for cheap clothes occurs at the expense of the environment and bad working conditions. Due to environmental destruction, people have developed an interest in high quality sustainable garments, called slow fashion, and avoid the production of cheap and low-quality garments, called fast fashion. Researchers argue that the responsibility for pollution from clothes is shared between consumers and the industry. Increasing consumer awareness is therefore argued as a solution to mitigate pollution and increase sales of sustainable garments. As a result, researchers have begun discovering this topic. Several studies have been conducted to understand consumer behaviour and the possibility of increasing consumer awareness. However, the studies focusing on consumer behaviour are towards women due to the norm of shopping being feminine. Men also buy clothes, but traditional male norms may affect men to care less about clothes and have generally a low interest.

Therefore, this thesis explores men’s clothing consumption habits and how traditional male norms affect men to refrain from sustainable consumption. As a qualitative study, three focus groups were held, divided into students, young adults, and adults for a broader analysis. Frame analysis was chosen to find diagnoses and corresponding action biases to explain men’s consumption habits. Through a thematic analysis, the dominant diagnoses and action biases were selected. The findings displayed various traditional male norms, such as low interest in clothing, in all focus groups, which affected the participants' consumption by not shopping very often. However, personal involvement, i.e., the greater the interest in shopping, the more aware of the clothing industry the participant was and vice versa, was the most evident aspect of their clothing consumption. These findings correspond to previous studies except that men in this study are not afraid of getting their masculinity questioned. The participants did not actively make sustainable choices in their consumption but showed elements of slow fashion through minimal shopping and using the clothes until they become worn out. They argued that expensive clothes have high quality and thus are a sustainable choice, which was acknowledged by previous studies.

This thesis has contributed to a further understanding of men’s clothing consumption. I believe that research on personal involvement as a driving aspect could be further studied in future studies to increase our knowledge of consumer behaviour. Awareness is important for sustainable clothing consumption and increased personal involvement can be the key to achieving it.

Main title:Understanding men’s clothing consumption
Subtitle:a contribution to further research on sustainable clothing consumption
Authors:Fast, Adam
Supervisor:Westberg, Lotten
Examiner:Grubbström, Ann
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
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:Clothing consumption, men’s consumption, sustainable consumption, consumer behaviour, consumption habits, fast fashion, slow fashion
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Deposited On:16 Jun 2023 06:35
Metadata Last Modified:17 Jun 2023 01:04

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