My proposed research topic will focus on sustainable fashion, specifically upcycled fashion and the consumers’ attitudes towards it and its impact on profitability. I chose this topic because I find sustainability in fashion a cause that is dear to me.
In a time where people from all parts of the globe can feel the impact of extreme environmental changes, sustainability, especially in the fashion industry, is an important and urgent matter that needs to be addressed and given proper attention.
Recently numerous fashion companies are shifting to more sustainable practices after consumers became increasingly aware of the effects of climate change.
Unknown to many, the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world. In the recent years, the appalling practices of production and disposal have been exposed and this outraged environmental advocates. This led to more fashion companies embracing more sustainable approaches. One such practice of sustainability is called upcycling, which is recreating discarded materials into a different product or product of higher value.
This practice in turn lessens product waste and decreases the need for new materials to create a product.
I chose to center my research on this topic because even though plenty of fashion companies have switched to more sustainable practices, there is little information on how consumer attitudes perceive this switch towards sustainability. There is also little known data on the impact of this move towards profitability. If switching to a more sustainable approach would not guarantee profits for fashion companies, then they would have very little incentive to continue switching to this approach.
On the other hand, I am curious to see how consumers would embrace fashion companies with a relatively new production process, such as upcycling. Although there have been several fashion companies that are creating products primarily through upcycling, it is currently not the norm in the fashion industry.
I am planning to conduct my research by first gathering related literature on my chosen topic. I would look into fashion companies who have embraced sustainable practices, specifically looking into companies who are currently using an upcycling approach, and find if it had significant impact on their sales. I would also compare companies to see what projects they took. Furthermore, I would look into the success of companies who embraced sustainability.
To measure consumer attitudes, I would create a questionnaire developed specifically for female consumers. I am looking into getting responses from female consumers since they are the fashion companies’ most lucrative consumer. Furthermore, I would look into getting responses of younger consumers, most probably consumers who are within the 21-49 age range. I believe this is a good age range to target because they have more financial freedom. Furthermore, I would devise the questionnaire to determine the attitudes of consumers towards certain key issues such as the aspects of production, product waste, hygiene concerns, and other pertinent issues. I aim to have the questionnaires distributed and filled-out completely online to remain in line with sustainable practices compared to having respondents fill out paper-based questionnaires.