From Trends to Transformation: Investigating Consumer Awareness and Behavior as Drivers Behind the Rise of Fast Fashion and the Circular Shopping Economy

Abstract

This thesis explores the global ascent of fast fashion, investigating its significant impact on textile and garment production and the resultant environmental consequences stemming from accelerated production processes. It identifies the environmental and ethical ramifications of the stages of the linear garment lifecycle, offering a comprehensive perspective of the modern fashion industry.

Through an exploration of consumer awareness and behavior, this paper uncovers the influential role played by consumers in driving the proliferation of fast fashion practices. Consumer shifts toward affordable, trendy clothing have propelled the fast fashion industry, reflecting the direct link between consumer choices and fashion production. Furthermore, this thesis investigates the paradoxical relationship between the sustainability advocacy of consumers and their concurrent engagement in consumption habits that perpetuate an unsustainable "take, make, dispose" clothing cycle.

By delving into consumer dynamics and psychology, this research unravels the underlying motivations that drive fashion consumers' purchasing decisions. It subsequently evaluates how past consumer behavior has effectively instigated shifts toward sustainable initiatives within the fashion industry, particularly through engagement with the secondhand fashion market. Furthermore, past consumer affinity for secondhand fashion companies is analyzed to glean insights into strategies that sustainable brands can adopt to enhance consumer engagement and participation.

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