COVID19 Affect on Generation Z Stance on Sustainable Fashion: UK and India Case Study | Assignment Collections | assignmentcollections.com

[ad_1]

This study aimed to investigate how COVID-19 has affected shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion. The researcher also aimed to explore the theoretical underpinning of responsible purchasing behaviour. The study sampled  generation Z respondents from the UK (n=100) and India (n=100).  The study employed quantitative analysis strategies through deductive primary research. The results showed that there is a positive relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and beliefs and values. A survey was conducted with generation Z consumers in India and the UK. In India, the results showed that a majority of respondents continued to shop sustainably even after the pandemic and that the main reasons for doing so were social media effect and the need for consumption of sustainable fashion. On the other hand, the UK results showed that a majority of respondents will continue shopping sustainably after the pandemic and that the main reasons for doing so were values and beliefs.  These findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a permanent change in people’s shopping habits and that the trend for sustainable fashion is here to stay.

Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, fashion, sustainability, responsible purchasing behaviour, online shopping, UK, India.

 

The global fashion industry has been severely criticised for causing irreparable damage to the environment. With the increase in awareness of the dangers of fast fashion, many shoppers are now changing their behaviours and becoming more conscious of the impact of their purchasing decisions. The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the fashion industry, with many stores closing their doors and consumers rethinking their spending habits. Amid the shock and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a silver lining for the environment:  a reduction in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This break from “business as usual” has given many people the opportunity to reflect on their relationship with consumption and the environment. Sustainability in fashion has become a major movement globally and consumers have become increasingly aware of the impact of their shopping habits on the environment. As a result, there has been a shift in consumer behaviour, with many people choosing to purchase from sustainable brands or shop second-hand. On the other hand, some shoppers have been taking advantage of the sales and discounts available as a result of the pandemic to purchase more items than they would usually. Others have been using the time at home to declutter and get rid of items they no longer wear. Still, the question remains: has the pandemic changed shoppers’ attitudes towards sustainability in fashion permanently? Will they continue to shop sustainably after the pandemic is over or will they revert back to their old habits? In light of the current pandemic, this study aims to investigate how COVID-19 has affected shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion. The study will specifically focus on generation Z consumers in India and the UK.

1.1 Rationale and Background 

The idea for this research came about because of my personal interest in the topic of sustainability in fashion. As someone who loves fashion and is interested in the industry, I have been following the sustainability movement closely. I have seen how much the topic has gained traction in recent years and I wanted to learn more about it. For example, as disastrous as the COVID-19 pandemic was for the world, it turned the spotlight on some important issues affecting the fashion industry. The year 2020 was a wake-up call that not enough was being done by the fashion industry in its drive toward sustainability. It was lauded as the “year of awakening” by McKinsey & Company’s State of Fashion Report 2019, as consumers demanded greater transparency and social responsibility from fashion retailers big and small (Fish and Fish, 2020). “The pandemic didn’t start the sustainability revolution, but it has put it into hyperdrive, and Gen Z is in the driver’s seat” (Petro, 2021). As economies begin to recover, consumer research on retail fashion brands reveals that the next normal is all about saving the planet (Vătămănescu et al., 2021). In light of the current pandemic, I believe that this is an important topic to investigate. The pandemic has changed the way we live and work, and it has had a significant impact on the fashion industry. This is an opportune time to study how COVID-19 has affected shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion.

The focus on generation Z is also relevant, as this is the demographic that is most likely to be interested in sustainability. By employing structural equation modeling, Koch, Frommeyer, and Schewe (2020) surveyed 451 German consumers to examine the relations between normative, utilitarian, purchase intentions, and hedonic motives. The study found that conventional factors, such as media reports on the economy, are linked to consumers’ purchase intentions, whereas the normative impact of close social groups did not (Koch, Frommeyer, and Schewe, 2020). In other words, generation Z is influenced by what they see on social media and in the news, rather than what their friends and family think. They are also the demographic most likely to take action on social and environmental issues (Djafarova and Foots, 2022). As a result, they are more likely to purchase from sustainable brands or shop second-hand.

Generation Z was chosen as they are the first generation to grow up with social media and are therefore more likely to be influenced by it. In addition, they are the largest group of consumers and are expected to have a significant impact on the future of the fashion industry. Their behaviror is also likely to be different from that of other generations, as they have been raised with a greater awareness of social and environmental issues. They are characterised by being open-minded, socially conscious, and having a strong sense of individuality (Vizcaya-Moreno and Pérez-Cañaveras, 2020). This is in contrast to older generations, who may be more likely to conform to societal norms and are less likely to question the status quo.

There is a lack of research on how COVID-19 has specifically affected generation Z shoppers’ attitudes towards sustainability in fashion. This is an important topic to investigate, as generation Z is the demographic most likely to be interested in sustainability and the pandemic has had a significant impact on the fashion industry. Additionally, this study will provide insights into how the pandemic has changed shoppers’ attitudes globally, as it will compare the results of generation Z shoppers in India and the UK. The results of this study will be important for fashion brands and retailers who are trying to understand how to appeal to their customers in a post-pandemic world.

1.2 Aims and Objectives 

This research aims to understand how COVID-19 has affected UK and India-based generation Z shoppers’ attitudes towards sustainability in fashion, purchase intention, and evaluate the reasons for the gap in responsible purchasing behaviour in both countries. In line with this aim, the objectives of this research are as follows:

  • To understand how UK and India-based generation Z shoppers’ attitudes have changed towards sustainability in fashion since the pandemic.
  • To make recommendations for fashion brands and retailers on how to appeal to UK and India-based generation Z shoppers in a post-pandemic world.
  • To understand how social media has influenced UK and India-based generation Z shoppers’ attitudes towards sustainability.
  • To understand how consumer beliefs and values have influenced UK and India-based generation Z shoppers’ attitudes towards sustainability.
  • To understand the relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and the rise in second-hand and resale shopping.

1.3 Research Questions 

This research seeks to answer the following 3 questions:

  1. How has COVID-19 affected UK and India-based generation Z shoppers’ attitudes towards sustainability in fashion?
  2. What are the main reasons for the gap in responsible purchasing behaviour between UK and India-based generation Z shoppers?
  3. What recommendations can be made for fashion brands and retailers on how to appeal to UK and India-based generation Z shoppers in a post-pandemic world?

1.4 Research Design 

The research philosophy adopted in this study is positivism. This philosophy is based on the belief that there is a reality that exists independently of the researcher and that it can be studied objectively (Al-Ababneh, 2020). This is an appropriate philosophy for this study, as the aim is to understand how COVID-19 has affected generation Z shoppers’ attitudes towards sustainability in fashion and make recommendations for fashion brands based on these findings. The explanatory study will employ quantitative analysis strategies through deductive primary research. The data will be collected using an online survey, which will be distributed to a sample of UK and India-based generation Z shoppers. Quantitative data analysis is performed to gather in-depth and accurate findings to further investigate consumer behaviour (Almeida, 2018). The use of quantitative data will provide insights into how COVID-19 has affected generation Z shoppers’ attitudes towards sustainability in fashion and will allow for comparisons to be made between the UK and India. Quantitative data will be collected through two identical web-based surveys targeted at Generation Z customers (one for the Indian market and one for the UK market) and the analysis of this data will provide insightful findings about the varied impact of the pandemic on consumer behaviour in both countries. The target population of this research is Generation Z who live either in the UK or India. The study will employ a cross-sectional time horizon approach.

1.5 Theoretical Underpinning

The theory that will underpin this research is the Theory of Planned Behaviour. TPB is a theory that states that behaviour is determined by three factors: attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control (Dunn, Hattie, and Bowles, 2018). In the context of this research, TPB will be used to understand how UK and India-based generation Z shoppers’ attitudes towards sustainability have been affected by COVID-19. It is important to note that TPB is not a perfect theory and has been criticised for its lack of consideration for behavioural intention (Sultan et al., 2020). However, it is still a useful theory for this research as it will provide insights into how UK and India-based generation Z shoppers’ attitudes have been affected by the pandemic. It will give insights into how hedonic values, such as a desire for newness and trends, have been impacted by the pandemic. These values are particularly relevant to the fashion industry, as they are often used by brands to encourage consumers to purchase new items. TPB will also give insights into how utilitarian values, such as a desire for quality and durability, have been affected by the pandemic. These values are particularly relevant to the fashion industry as they are often used by sustainable brands to encourage consumers to purchase items that will last longer.

Table 1: Overview of Chapters

Chapter Description
Chapter 1: Introduction This chapter provides an overview of the research topic, research aim and objectives, and research questions. It also sets out the structure of the dissertation.
Chapter 2: Literature Review This chapter reviews the existing literature on the topic of sustainability in fashion, responsible purchasing behaviour, and online shopping
Chapter 3: Methodology This chapter discusses the research methodology used in this study, including the research design, data collection methods, and data analysis methods.
Chapter 4: Results This chapter presents the results of the study.
Chapter 5: Discussion This chapter discusses the findings of the study in relation to the literature reviewed and primary research. It also sets out the limitations of the study and suggestions for future research.
Chapter 6: Conclusion This chapter summarises the main findings of the study and sets out the implications for retailers.

 

Table 2: Limitations of the Study

Limitation Description
Time The study was conducted over a period of 6 weeks, which may not be enough time to capture all the relevant data.
Sample Size: The study had a sample size of 200, which is not representative of the entire population.
Location The study was conducted in two countries, India and the UK. It is possible that the results may not be generalizable to other countries.
Access to data The study relied on self-reported data, which may be subject to bias.
Scope The study only looked at the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion. It did not look at other aspects of the fashion industry, such as production or waste.
Resources The study was limited by the resources available, which may have affected the quality of the data.
Generalizability The findings of this study may not be generalizable to all shoppers, as the sample was limited to generation Z consumers in India and the UK.

 

 

 

 

2.1 Generation Z and Their Attitude to Sustainability in Fashion.

Generation Z was born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s and is currently in its late teens to early 20s. They are the first digital natives, having grown up with technology at their fingertips. They are also known as the post-millennial or iGeneration. In terms of fashion, they are extremely aware of the latest trends and are quick to adopt them. Mohr et al. (2021) suggest that Gen Z are the most likely to adopt sustainable fashion due to their concern for social and environmental issues. Millennials and Generation Z customers drive 85 percent of global luxury sales growth, with a projected 45 percent share by 2025 (Mohr et al., 2021). Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to understand the factors that influence their purchasing decisions when it comes to fashion, particularly sustainable fashion. Generation Z is voicing their opinions on social media and is using their spending power to make a difference (Mohr et al., 2021). They are interested in sustainability and responsible consumption that leads to positive social and environmental impact.

Generation Z of India and the UK are armed with the ability to use technology for research and are very vocal about their opinions on social media. This generation is ready to spend money on brands they trust and align with their style (Desai and Kankonkar, 2019). Generation Z is surrounded by the world of technology and has access to social media platforms that allow them to see how other people live their lives. Desai and Kankonkar (2019) state that Generation Z possesses unique characteristics that make them different from any other generation. Their online buying involvement and decision style in buying fashion apparel is based on their exposure to different cultures, willingness to experiment, and need for instant gratification. It is a multicultural generation that people from different cultures and backgrounds surround, making them more open to trying new things and willing to experiment with their style. The need for instant gratification is seen in their buying decisions as they are not willing to wait for something they want; they would rather have it now. Generation Z is concerned with Internet privacy, the uses of today’s technology, and how easy it is to obtain information (Desai and Kankonkar, 2019). They are cautious about giving their personal information online and are interested in companies that offer transparency. Generation Z is a unique generation influenced by the world around them. Their buying decisions are based on their exposure to different cultures, their need for instant gratification, and their concern for Internet privacy.

Apparel rental has created a new opportunity in the fashion industry and is becoming more popular among young consumers, particularly Generation Z. McCoy et al. (2021) report that apparel rental is seen as a sustainable and responsible way to consume fashion. It allows consumers to access a variety of fashion styles without the need to purchase new items. Rental services are becoming more popular as they offer an affordable and sustainable alternative to fast fashion.

Generation Z consumers are the most environmentally friendly among all generations, with 68 percent claiming to be eco-friendly buyers (McCoy et al., 2021).  They are willing to pay more for sustainable and ethical products and are interested in brands that are transparent about their supply chain. Sustainable fashion is defined as clothing, shoes, and accessories that are made from sustainable materials and produced in a way that minimises environmental impact. These items are made to last longer and can be recycled or reused. Sustainable fashion is an important aspect of responsible consumption as it minimises the environmental impact of the fashion industry. McCoy et al. (2021) found that the main reasons why US Gen Z consumers are interested in collaborative apparel consumption are because it is more sustainable, it saves money, it is convenient, and it allows them to wear a wider variety of styles.

Generation Z is a unique generation influenced by the world around them. Their buying decisions are based on what they believe in and their need to make a difference. While the pandemic has changed the way they view fashion and sustainability, it has not changed their core values. They continue to be interested in sustainable and ethical fashion and are willing to spend more on items that align with their beliefs. As they enter the workforce and become more financially independent, they will likely continue to make responsible purchasing decisions that reflect their values.

2.2 The Impact of COVID-19 on Shoppers’ Stance on Sustainability in Fashion.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on fashion consumption patterns globally. A recent study comparing the changing acquisition practices of nine countries during COVID-19 found that there has been a shift towards online shopping, as well as an increase in the purchase of sustainable and second-hand clothing (Vladimirova et al., 2022). This is in line with other studies that have found a decrease in the purchase of new clothing during the pandemic (Rossolov et al., 2020; Shabir and AlBishri, 2021). The reasons for this shift are numerous, but include a change in consumer priorities (from wanting to purchase new clothes to needing to save money), a decrease in disposable income, and health concerns about exposure to the virus in brick-and-mortar stores (Shabir and AlBishri, 2021). Consumers have also become more conscious of the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry, and are seeking out brands that align with their values.

While the pandemic has resulted in a decrease in overall fashion consumption, it has also led to a change in the way that consumers view sustainability. A study by Gawior et al. (2022) found that there has been an increase in the number of people who say they are willing to pay more for sustainable clothing. This is likely due to a combination of factors, including the increased awareness of the environmental impact of the fashion industry during the pandemic, as well as the health concerns associated with fast fashion (Gawior et al., 2022). In addition, the move to online shopping has made it easier for consumers to research sustainable brands and make purchases from them (Vladimirova et al., 2022). This increase in sustainable fashion consumption is likely to continue in the post-pandemic world, as consumers become more conscious of the environmental and social impacts of their clothing choices.

The implications of these findings are numerous, but there are three main ones for the future of sustainable fashion. First, according to Gawior et al. (2022), the increase in sustainable fashion consumption during the pandemic is likely to continue in the post-pandemic world. This means that brands need to be prepared to meet the demand for sustainable clothing. Second, as Vladimirova et al. (2022) point out, the move to online shopping has made it easier for consumers to research sustainable brands and make purchases from them. This trend is likely to continue, and brands need to ensure that their online presence is up to date and accessible. Finally, Shabir and AlBishri (2021) emphasize the importance of health concerns in driving fashion consumption patterns. Brands need to be aware of these concerns and address them in their marketing and product offerings.

2.3 Responsible Purchasing Behaviour and the Impact of Social Media

The literature on responsible purchasing behaviour and the impact of social media is vast and varied. However, some common themes emerge from the literature. First, according to Sikrant (2020), social media can have a positive impact on customer relationships and subsequent purchase behaviour. This means that brands need to be active on social media and use it to build relationships with customers. Second, Thorisdottir and Johannsdottir (2020) point out that corporate social responsibility is a key factor in influencing sustainability within the fashion industry. Brands need to be aware of their impact on the environment and the workers in their supply chain, and take steps to mitigate any negative impacts. Third, similar to Thorisdottir and Johannsdottir (2020), Perry and Wood (2018) emphasise the importance of supply chain management in ensuring responsible purchasing behaviour. They argue that brands need to have a transparent and ethical supply chain to be considered responsible. Fourth, Kaur, Duggal, and Suri (2018) suggest that generation Z consumers in India are increasingly interested in purchasing sustainable fashion. This means that brands need to offer sustainable products that appeal to this demographic. Finally, Carrigan, Moraes, and McEachern (2013) argue that luxury fashion brands have a responsibility to minimise the negative impacts of their business, such as environmental damage and exploitation of workers. They suggest that brands need to take a holistic approach to responsible fashion, taking into account all aspects of their business.

A common theme that emerges from the literature is the importance of social media in building customer relationships and subsequent purchase behaviour. According to Sikrant (2020), social media can have a positive impact on customer relationships and subsequent purchase behaviour because it allows brands to connect with customers on a personal level. However, as Thorisdottir and Johannsdottir (2020) point out, corporate social responsibility is a key factor in influencing sustainability within the fashion industry considering the vast amount of environmental and social media. Perry and Wood (2018) argument supports this by suggesting that brands need to have a transparent and ethical supply chain to be considered responsible, which can only happen if brands are aware of their impact on the environment and the workers in their supply chain. Kaur, Duggal, and Suri (2018) suggest that generation Z consumers in India are increasingly interested in purchasing sustainable fashion, which means that brands need to offer sustainable products that appeal to this demographic. To have a truly responsible fashion industry, Carrigan, Moraes, and McEachern (2013) suggest that brands need to take a holistic approach to responsible fashion, taking into account all aspects of their business. What is lacking from the literature is a comprehensive study of how COVID-19 has affected shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion. The current study will aim to fill this gap in the literature by investigating how COVID-19 has affected generation Z consumers’ interest in sustainable fashion in India and the UK.

2.4 Responsible Purchasing Behaviour and Consumer Beliefs and Values

Consumer beliefs and values are important drivers of sustainable purchasing behaviour (Kumar, Prakash & Kumar, 2021; Zhang, Zhang & Zhou, 2021). A study by Khare (2020) found that Indian consumers’ perceptions of the benefits of green apparel are influenced by their beliefs and values. Su et al. (2019) found that US and Chinese young Millennials have different perspectives on sustainable clothing, with the Chinese consumers being more likely to value environmental protection. These studies suggest that culture plays a role in shaping consumer beliefs and values about sustainability, which in turn affects purchasing behaviour. In addition, Khare et al. (2020) found that knowledge and materialism are important predictors of organic clothing purchase behaviour in India. This suggests that brands need to provide information about the sustainability of their products to influence consumer behaviour.

Although Kumar, Prakash and Kumar (2021) found that responsible purchase intention matters for consumers, their study did not investigate how COVID-19 has affected this intention. Zhang, Zhang, and Zhou (2021) found that consumer attitude towards sustainability of fast fashion products in the UK has changed since the outbreak of COVID-19, with more consumers now interested in sustainable fashion. However, this study did not investigate how COVID-19 has affected consumers’ attitude towards sustainability in other countries. Several other studies that have investigated the effect of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour (e.g. Ali, 2020; Moon, Choe, and Song, 2021) have found that the pandemic has had a negative effect on consumer purchasing behaviour. However, these studies have not specifically focused on the effect of COVID-19 on consumers’ attitude towards sustainability in fashion.

2.5 The Role of Second-Hand and Resale Shopping in Sustainable Fashion Consumption

Second-hand and resale shopping has been gaining popularity in recent years as a sustainable alternative to fast fashion (Amaral and Spers, 2022; Brydges, Retamal and Hanlon, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has further increased interest in second-hand shopping, as consumers are looking for ways to save money and reduce their environmental impact (Vladimirova et al., 2020). In addition, the pandemic has led to a decrease in consumer confidence and an increase in concern for the environment, which has resulted in a change in attitude towards sustainable fashion (Kim and Lee, 2020; Lee and Weder, 2021). This has created an opportunity for brands to communicate the sustainability of their products to consumers and influence their purchase behaviour.

The role of second-hand and resale shopping in sustainable fashion consumption is likely to increase in the post-COVID era. This is due to the increase in consumer interest in sustainable fashion, as well as the decrease in confidence and increase in concern for the environment. A study conducted by Amaral and Spers (2022) found that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a change in attitude towards second-hand shopping, with more consumers interested in this sustainable alternative to fast fashion. In addition, the study found that the pandemic has resulted in a decrease in consumer confidence and an increase in concern for the environment. This view was echoed by Brydges, Retamal, and Hanlon (2020), who found that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a change in attitude towards sustainable fashion. Kim and Lee (2020) also found that the pandemic has led to a change in attitude towards sustainable fashion, whereby consumers are more interested in environmentally friendly products. These studies suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a change in attitude towards sustainable fashion, which is likely to result in an increase in second-hand and resale shopping in the post-COVID era. However, one notable limitation of most of these studies is that they are based on data from Western countries. It is therefore unclear to what extent these findings can be generalised to other regions, such as India and the UK.

2.6 Sustainable Fashion Brands and Their Response to COVID-1

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a decrease in demand for fashion products and a consequent decline in sales for many fashion brands (Kishnani, 2020). This has resulted in a need for brands to be more agile and resilient to survive. Social enterprises are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the pandemic, as they often operate on tight margins and rely heavily on donations and government funding (Kishnani, 2020). The pandemic has therefore led to a need for social enterprises to be more agile and resilient to survive. A perfect case study is GoCoop.com, an Indian social enterprise connecting weavers, cooperatives, and artisans with customers through a digital marketplace. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a decrease in demand for GoCoop’s products, cooperatives started to close, and weavers were laid off (Kishnani, 2020). In response, GoCoop quickly pivoted to a direct-to-consumer model and started selling its products online. This allowed the company to survive the pandemic and emerge stronger. Business agility has become the key to sustainability in the post-COVID world. Responsive supply chains, diversified product portfolios, and nimble go-to-market strategies are some of the key agility levers that brands can use to survive and thrive in the post-COVID world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a unique opportunity for the fashion industry to rethink its business model and create a new, slower, and more sustainable future. The pandemic has forced brands to re-evaluate their business models and find ways to become more agile and resilient. Brydges, Retamal, and Hanlon (2020) found that the pandemic has led to a change in attitude towards sustainable fashion. They argue that COVID-19 has had a major influence on the fashion business thus far, but it remains to be seen whether the pandemic will be the industry’s catalyst for change (Brydges, Retamal, and Hanlon, 2020). The study found that the pandemic has led to a change in attitude towards sustainable fashion, with consumers becoming more interested in environmentally friendly products. The study also found that the pandemic has led to a need for brands to be more agile and resilient to survive, suggesting that the COVID-19 pandemic could be the industry’s catalyst for change.

A study by Ahsan (2020), found that the outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a significant decrease in demand for fashion products globally. As a result, many fashion brands have been forced to adapt their business models to survive. The study found that some brands have shifted their focus to sustainable and ethical practices to appeal to consumers who are increasingly concerned about the environment and social issues. In India, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the retail sector. According to a report by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the pandemic has caused a decline in consumer spending and an increase in online shopping (Sharma and Jhamb, 2020). The report also found that the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards sustainable and ethical practices in the fashion industry. In the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on the retail sector. A report by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) found that the pandemic has caused a decrease in consumer spending and an increase in online shopping (Nicola et al., 2020). Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the fashion industry, with many brands shifting their focus to sustainable and ethical practices to appeal to consumers who are increasingly concerned about the environment and social issues.

This study will use the Theory of planned behavior (TPB) to examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sustainable fashion consumption. The TPB is a well-established theory that has been used to explain a variety of human behaviors, including health-related behaviors, environmental behaviors, and consumer behavior. The TPB posits that an individual’s intention to engage in a certain behavior is determined by their attitudes toward the behavior, their beliefs about the consequences of the behavior, and their perceived social pressure to engage in the behavior (George, 2004). The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the fashion industry, with many brands shifting their focus to sustainable and ethical practices to appeal to consumers who are increasingly concerned about the environment and social issues.

2.7 Theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the effects of the pandemic on sustainable fashion consumption.

The literature on TPB suggests that perceived social pressure is a key determinant of an individual’s intention to engage in a certain behavior (George, 2004). In the context of sustainable fashion, Youn, Lee, and Ha-Brookshire (2021) found that peer pressure and social norms are important factors influencing sustainable fashion consumption. Given the importance of social pressure in determining an individual’s intention to purchase sustainable fashion, it is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on sustainable fashion consumption. In particular, the pandemic has increased social pressure to purchase sustainable fashion, as sustainable practices have become more important to consumers in the midst of a global health crisis.

Cahigas et al. (2022) found that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on public transportation behavior in the Philippines. Applying the TPB to their study, they found that the pandemic has increased perceived social pressure to use public transportation, as it is seen as a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. Given the findings of Cahigas et al. (2022), it is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on sustainable fashion consumption. This view is supported by the findings of Lehberger, Kleih, and Sparke (2021), who found that the pandemic has led to an increase in panic buying of non-perishable food items in Germany. Applying the TPB to their study, they found that the pandemic has increased perceived social pressure to stockpile food, as it is seen as a more sustainable and responsible way to prepare for future crises.

Other studies have also found that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on consumer behavior. For example, Irfan et al. (2021) found that the pandemic has led to a decrease in consumer confidence and an increase in anxiety among consumers. They argued that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on consumer behavior, as it has made consumers more cautious and risk-averse, which has led to a decrease in spending. Given the findings of Irfan et al. (2021), TPB would predict that the COVID-19 pandemic has also hurt sustainable fashion consumption, as it has made consumers more risk-averse and less likely to purchase sustainable fashion. However, the findings of Youn, Lee, and Ha-Brookshire (2021) suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on sustainable fashion consumption, as it has increased social pressure to purchase sustainable fashion. This view is supported by the findings of Lehberger, Kleih, and Sparke (2021), who found that the pandemic has led to an increase in panic buying of non-perishable food items in Germany. Overall, TPB would suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a mixed impact on sustainable fashion consumption, with some factors (e.g., increased social pressure) leading to an increase in consumption, and other factors (e.g., decreased consumer confidence) leading to a decrease in consumption.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The methodology section of the dissertation was structured using Research Onion, which outlines all aspects of the methodology to create an informative and illustrative proposal.  Saunders et al. (2007) provide an excellent example of how the research onion can be used as a framework for structuring the methodology of a dissertation. It should be noted that the research onion is not a rigid framework, and can be adapted to fit the needs of the researcher. The first step in the research onion is to select a research philosophy. For this dissertation, the researcher chose to use positivism as the research philosophy. Positivism is a philosophical and methodological approach that emphasizes the use of empirical evidence to test hypotheses and theories (Zyphur and Pierides, 2020). The second step in the research onion is to select an approach to theory development., which includes deduction, abduction, and induction. This study utlised deduction as the approach to theory development because the study will test existing theories and hypotheses to see if they can explain the data collected. The third step is to select a methodological approach, which includes qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods. For this dissertation, the researcher used a quantitative research design. The fourth step in the research onion is to select the strategies that will be used to collect data. For this study, the researcher used a survey to collect data from a sample of generation Z consumers in India and the UK. The fifth step is to select a time horizon, which helps the researcher determine how much data needs to be collected and how long the research will take. For this study, the researcher used a cross-sectional design. The final step in the research onion is to select techniques and procedures, which helps the researcher determine how the data will be collected and analysed. For data collection, the researcher used a survey. For data analysis, the researcher will use descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and multiple regression analysis.

Figure 1: The Research Onion (Saunders et al., 2007).

3.1 Research Philosophy

The research philosophy is the fundamental ‘philosophical’ assumptions people make about the nature of reality and how knowledge about it can be obtained (Kaushik and Walsh, 2019). The choice of research philosophy is important because it shapes the entire research process, from data collection to data analysis. There are four main research philosophies: positivism, interpretivism, realism, and pragmatism (Muhaise et al., 2020). Positivism is a philosophical and methodological approach that emphasizes the use of empirical evidence to test hypotheses and theories (Muhaise et al., 2020). It is most suitable when the research question is focused on exploring cause and effect relationships. Interpretivism is a philosophical and methodological approach that emphasizes the importance of understanding social phenomena from the standpoint of the actors involved (Muhaise et al., 2020). It is used when the research question is focused on understanding human behaviour. Realism emphasizes the need to understand the social world as it is, rather than how we would like it to be (Muhaise et al., 2020). It is most suitable when the research question is focused on exploring the relationship between independent and dependent variables but does not seek to explain why this relationship exists. Pragmatism is an approach that emphasizes the need to test ideas and solutions in the real world to see if they work (Muhaise et al., 2020). It is most suitable when the research question is focused on finding practical solutions to problems.

The research philosophy adopted for this study is Positivism. The focus of this study is on exploring the cause and effect relationship between COVID-19 and shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion. Positivism is most suitable for this purpose because it emphasizes the use of empirical evidence to test hypotheses and theories, such as the hypothesis that COVID-19 has caused a change in shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion. The use of quantitative data is another reason why positivism is the most suitable research philosophy for this study as it will enable the researcher to test hypotheses and draw conclusions about cause and effect relationships. Furthermore, quantitative data is more suited to testing hypotheses than qualitative data because it is more objective and can be easily analyzed using statistical methods (Sovacool, Axsen, and Sorrell, 2018). This is important because the focus of this study is on exploring relationships between variables, rather than understanding human behaviour.

3.2 Approach to Theory Development

The approach to theory development adopted for this study is deductive. Deductive reasoning starts with a general theory or hypothesis and then uses empirical evidence to test it (Cramer-Petersen, Christensen, and Ahmed-Kristensen, 2019). A problem can be better understood when analysed in its simplest form i.e. hypotheses deduced from academic literature (Saunders & Lewis, 2012; Bryman & Bell, 2011). These are then subsequently proved or disproved with causal relationships explained using the data gathered from primary research (Saunders & Lewis, 2012). This is the most suitable approach for this study as it starts with existing literature on the topic of sustainable fashion and responsible purchasing behaviour, and then uses empirical evidence from the surveys to test these hypotheses. Furthermore, as this study is looking at how COVID-19 has affected these behaviours, it is important to test existing theories in light of the pandemic. It is also worth noting that the theory development process is an iterative one, and as such, the researcher may return to existing literature throughout the study to add to or revise the existing theories.

The first step in theory development is to review existing literature on the topic of sustainable fashion and responsible purchasing behaviour. This includes both academic literature and popular press articles. The academic literature provides a solid foundation on which to build the theories for this study, while the popular press articles provide insights into how these concepts are being talked about and understood by the general public. The second step is to develop hypotheses based on the literature review. These hypotheses will be tested using the empirical data collected from the surveys. The third and final step is to revise and refine the theories based on the results of the survey. This may involve adding or removing hypotheses, as well as revising existing ones. The goal is to develop a comprehensive and accurate theory of how COVID-19 has affected shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion.

3.3 Methodological Choice

The methodological choice for this study is a quantitative survey, which will be administered online. The reason for choosing this method is that it will provide a large data set that can be easily analysed. Additionally, it will allow for a wide geographical reach, as the survey can be completed by anyone with an internet connection. The target population for this study is generation Z consumers in India and the UK, as these are two of the largest markets for online shopping. The choice of quantitative method is also justified by the fact that this research aims to test hypotheses, which can be done effectively using statistical analysis. A quantitative analysis approach was used which “provides an expanded understanding of research problems” (Creswell, 2009). Although a qualitative approach could also be used to gain insights into the topic, it would not be as useful for testing hypotheses because it would not provide a large enough data set and would be more time-consuming to analyse.

3.4 Strategies

The data for this study was collected using an online survey. The survey was conducted using a questionnaire that will be emailed to a list of potential respondents. The questionnaire asked questions about the respondent’s age, gender, location, online shopping habits, attitude towards sustainability in fashion, and whether they have changed their shopping habits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, among others. The choice of online as the method of data collection is based on the fact that the target population for this study is young people who are active internet users. Furthermore, online surveys are more cost-effective and time-efficient than other methods such as face-to-face surveys (Kim et al., 2020). The questionnaire was designed to take approximately 10 minutes to complete. In order to ensure that the data collected is of good quality, a number of measures will be put in place. First, the questionnaire will be piloted with a small sample of potential respondents to test for clarity and understandability. Second, the data will be checked for missing values and outliers. The final questionnaire consisted of 28 questions, and was administered online via Qualtrics. Finally, the data was analysed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.

3.5 Time Horizon

Two types of data can be collected for this study: cross-sectional and longitudinal. Cross-sectional data is a snapshot of the population at a particular point in time, while longitudinal data is a series of snapshots over some time(Butler et al., 2020). Cross-sectional data was the most suitable for this study because the researcher intended to collect data on a large number of people in a short period. This would not have been possible with longitudinal data, which would require following the same people over a long period of time, which is not feasible given the resources and time constraints. Furthermore, cross-sectional data is more useful for testing hypotheses than longitudinal data, as it allows for comparisons to be made between different groups of people. Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic is a time-limited event, so it was not possible to study its effects over a long period

3.6. Techniques and Procedures

A quantitative survey was used to collect data for this study. The target population for this study were Generation Z consumers in the UK and India. The questionnaire was developed by the researcher and consisted of questions pertaining to respondents’ shopping habits, beliefs and values regarding sustainability in fashion, and how these had changed since the outbreak of COVID-19. The questionnaire was piloted with ten respondents in each country, and modifications were made based on feedback received. The researcher collected data between January and February 2022.

In order to ensure that the sample for this study was representative of the target population, a non-probability convenience sampling was used. Participants were selected based on certain characteristics (Generation z: born between 1997- 2012) as representatives of the whole demographic. Convenience sampling was used as it was deemed the most efficient method to collect data from the target population within the timeframe set for this study (Fricker,2017). Furthermore, as this study was conducted online, it would have been difficult to administer a probability sampling method. A total of 100 questionnaires for each country were distributed evenly across genders. This number was deemed appropriate as it allowed for a large enough sample size to be represented, while also ensuring that the data collected was manageable (Vasileiou  t al., 2018). The data collected was then exported from Google Forms into a Excel spreadsheet, and coded for analysis.

The data collected through quantitative research was processed using data analysis procedures. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data, and inferential statistics (Pearson’s correlation coefficient) were used to test the hypotheses. Multiple regression analysis was also conducted to test for interactions between the dependent and independent variables. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the data. To ensure the validity and reliability of the data, a number of steps were taken. First, the questionnaire was piloted with a sampe of respondents in each country. Second, the data was carefully coded and cleaned to ensure that there were no errors. Finally, the data was analysed by two different people to check for consistency.

3.7 Research Ethics 

Ethicality is essential to consider while carrying out primary research. Ethical research must ensure that participants have agreed to participate, there is minimisation of harm, respect for individual autonomy, and the preservation of privacy (Bryman and Bell, 2011). For the quantitative research element, all participants were asked to agree to participate before beginning the survey and were not asked to share personal details to protect their privacy. This is also a way of encouraging people to participate as their anonymity is secured. This guaranteed there was no deception involved and gave them the option to remain anonymous and leave at any point without their results being used (Saunders et al., 2012) The research carried out did not cause any harm to the participants as many considerations were in place to identify the possibility of any possible harm and eliminate this risk.  These considerations included making the questions as clear as possible to avoid any misunderstanding, and providing a detailed explanation of what the research is for and how their answers will be used. Furthermore, the threat of any possible physical or psychological harm was non-existent as no invasive questions were asked and all information collected was general and non-personal.

3.5 Limitations

There can be various possible limitations that affect the research methodology, such as reliability and validity. As this study was conducted online, there may be a possibility that some respondents did not answer truthfully due to the anonymous nature of the survey. Furthermore, the study was limited to two countries, India and the UK. While these countries were chosen as they are representative of different continents and have different cultures, the results may not be generalizable to other countries. In addition, the sample size for this study was 100 respondents in each country, which may also be considered a limitation. When using non-probability sampling, it is difficult to know if the sample is representative of the target demographic (Lamm and Lamm, 2019). The distribution of the sample across different age groups, genders, and locations may not accurately reflect the population. It was also challenging to know if participants were genuine about their responses as some questions required speculation about future behaviour. Despite these limitations, the study provides valuable insights into how COVID-19 has affected shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion.

4.1 Introduction

This chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the key findings from primary and secondary research. The results from the online surveys in India and the UK are presented and discussed in detail, followed by analysis of the secondary data. The findings are then presented in relation to the objectives and research questions.

4.2 Findings from Quantitative Research

4.2.1 Characteristics of Respondents

A total of 200 respondents participated in the online survey, with 100 from each country. Table 3 shows the characteristics of the respondents in terms of their age, gender, and location. The average age of respondents in the UK was 20 years, and the average age of respondents in India was 21 years. In terms of gender, 60% of respondents in the UK were male and 40% were female. In India, 60% of respondents were male and 40% were female. In terms of location, 80% of respondents in the UK were from London and 20% were from other parts of the UK.

Table 3: Characteristics of respondents in terms of Average age, gender, and location

UK India
Age Gender Age Gender
Male Female Male Female
20 years 60% 40% 21 years 60% 40%

 

4.2.1 Multiple linear regression analysis – Indian Market

A multiple linear regression analysis, which is a statistical test that uses two or more independent variables to predict the outcome of a dependent variable, was carried out to test hypothesis 1,2,3, and 4. The multiple linear regression model includes a common dependent variable amongst the hypotheses that is “responsible purchasing behaviour,” which is tested alongside four independent variables “impact of social media”, “consumer beliefs and values”, “a rise in second-hand and resale shopping”, and “the consumption of sustainable fashion”. Tables 4, 5 and 6 illustrate the results of the test carried out via SPSS.

 

Table 4: Model Summary (test 1)

Table 5:  ANOVA (test 1)

Table 6: Regression Coefficients (test 1)

In Table 4, the adjusted R Square is 39.9%, which means that the independent variables explain approximately 40% of the variation in the dependent variable. The p-value (sig) is also less than 0.05 for the ANOVA test (Table 5), which is statistically significant. In other words, the results suggest that there is a relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and all four independent variables. Table 4 shows the coefficients for the independent variables, which suggest that the impact of sustainability has the strongest relationship with responsible purchasing behaviour(β = 0.334), followed by social media (β = 0.332). The p-value for ‘consumer values and beliefs’ and second-hand clothing are greater than 0.05, which means that they are not statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. The model containing insignificant variables cannot be accepted as the final model according to the rule of thumb. So, a second model was run without including the most insignificant independent variables “consumer values and beliefs.” Tables 7, 8 and 9 present the results of the second model.

 

Table 7: Model Summary (test 2)

 

Table 8: ANOVA (test 2)

 

Table 9: Regression Coefficients (test 2)

From Tables 7 it can be observed that the model fit has improved as the R square value has increased to 41.2%. In addition, the ANOVA test is significant at 0.05 level, which means that all the independent variables have a relationship with the dependent variable. The results also suggest that sustainability has the strongest relationship with responsible purchasing behaviour (β= 0.350), followed by social media (β = 0.334). Second-hand shopping is still not statistically significant in this model (p>0.05). The third and final model was run without including “second-hand shopping.” The resulting output is shown in Tables 10, 11 and 12.

Table 10: Model Summary (test 3)

Table 11: ANOVA (test 3)

Table 12:  Regression Coefficients (test 3)

From Tables 10, it can be seen that the model fit has declined as the R square value has decreased to 40.4%. However, the ANOVA test is significant (p<0.05), which means that the independent variables have a relationship with the dependent variable. The results also suggest that sustainability has the strongest relationship with responsible purchasing behaviour (β=0.403), followed by social media (β = 0.375). Overall, the results of the multiple linear regression analysis suggest that there is a positive relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and both sustainability and social media.

In conclusion, the findings of this study suggest that shoppers in India are becoming more conscious of the need to purchase sustainably, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media is playing a significant role in raising awareness of sustainability issues among shoppers, and this is resulting in a change in purchasing behaviour.

4.2.3 Multiple linear regression analysis – UK Market

A multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to test the hypotheses in the UK market. The results are presented in Tables 13, 14 and 15.

 

Table 13:  Model Summary

Table 14: ANOVA

Table 15: Regression Coefficients

 

The model fit is quite good as the adjusted R square value is 55.5%, more than the Indian market. In addition, the ANOVA test is significant (p<0.05), which means that all the independent variables have a relationship with the dependent variable. The results also suggest that, in UK, values and beliefs has the strongest relationship with responsible purchasing behaviour (β= 3.391) and the rest if the variables are not statistically significant (p>0.05). The model is then altered to remove the insignificant variables to see if there is any improvement. The resulting output from the second model is shown in Tables 16, 17 and 18.

Table 16: Model Summary – UK test 2

Table 17:  ANOVA – UK test 2

Table 18: Coefficients – UK test 2

From Tables 16, it can be seen that there is no improvement in the model fit as the adjusted R square value has reduced to 48% from the previous model. The ANOVA test is significant (p<0.05), which means that the independent variable has a relationship with the dependent variable. With values and beliefs as the only independent variable in the model, the results suggest that there is a positive relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and values and beliefs in UK. This shows that, unlike Indian shoppers, UK shoppers are more likely to be influenced by their personal values and beliefs when it comes to sustainability.

4.3 Findings from secondary research

The findings from this study provides insights into how COVID-19 has affected shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion. In particular, it highlights how India and UK shoppers have responded differently to the pandemic. Five outcomes can be drawn from the literature review. First, both India and UK shoppers have increased their online shopping behaviour during the pandemic. According to Kaur Duggal, and Suri (2018), Indians have been buying more online due to the lockdown, with a significant increase in first-time shoppers. This is attributed to the fact that many Indian consumers are now more comfortable with online transactions and are also looking for better deals and discounts. The UK shoppers have also increased their online shopping during the pandemic (Perry and Towers, 2009). However, this is not solely due to the pandemic but also due to the growth of online retail in general.

The second outcome is that shoppers in both India and UK are more concerned about sustainability now than they were before the pandemic. In India, this is attributed to the fact that sustainability has become more important to shoppers in recent years (Kaur, Duggal and Suri, 2018). The UK shoppers have also become more conscious of the environmental impact of their shopping habits and are looking for more sustainable options because generation Z shoppers are more likely to be influenced by their personal values and beliefs when it comes to sustainability (McCoy et al., 2021). The third outcome is that shoppers in both India and UK are buying more second-hand and resale items. This is because shoppers are looking for more sustainable options and are also trying to save money during the pandemic (Shabir and AlBishri, 2021; Amaral and Spers, 2022).

Fourth, both Indian and UK shoppers are consuming more sustainable fashion because shoppers are looking for more sustainable and ethical options that are also affordable (Ahsan, 2020). In the UK, this trend is being driven by generation Z shoppers who are more likely to be influenced by their personal values and beliefs when it comes to sustainability (McCoy et al., 2021). In India, this trend is being driven by the fact that many Indian consumers are now more comfortable with online transactions and are also looking for better deals and discounts (Duggal and Suri, 2018). The fifth finding is that the COVID-19 fuelled rise in online shopping for fashion items will continue even after the pandemic is over. This is because shoppers have become more comfortable with buying fashion items online, and because of the continued rise in social media use.

The findings of this study suggest that there is a strong relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and the impact of social media because social media provides a platform for consumers to learn about responsible purchasing behaviour. In addition, the findings suggest that there is a strong relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and consumer beliefs and values. This is because consumers who are interested in responsible purchasing behaviour are likely to have strong beliefs and values about sustainability (Kumar, Prakash & Kumar, 2021). Finally, the findings suggest that there is a strong relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and the rise in second-hand and resale shopping. This is because shoppers who are interested in responsible purchasing behaviour are likely to be interested in buying second-hand and resale items.

5.1 Research Questions and Hypothesis

The research problem addressed in this study was to investigate how COVID-19 has affected shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion. The study specifically looked at generation Z consumers in India and the UK. The research questions that were addressed in this study were:

 

  1. How has COVID-19 affected UK and India-based generation Z shoppers’ attitudes towards sustainability in fashion?
  2. What are the main reasons for the gap in responsible purchasing behaviour between UK and India-based generation Z shoppers?
  3. What recommendations can be made for fashion brands and retailers on how to appeal to UK and India-based generation Z shoppers in a post-pandemic world?

In line with these research questions, the hypotheses that were tested in this study were:

  • H1: There is a positive relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and the impact of social media.
  • H2: There is a positive relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and consumer beliefs and values.
  • H3: There is a positive relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and the rise in second-hand and resale shopping.
  • H4: There is a positive relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and the consumption of sustainable fashion.

These findings suggest that, in a post-pandemic world, fashion brands and retailers should focus on appealing to UK and India-based generation Z shoppers by emphasising the importance of sustainability. In addition, fashion brands and retailers should focus on using social media to reach out to these shoppers. Literature on marketing to generation Z has shown that this is an effective way to reach out to this target market (Koch, Frommeyer, and Schewe, 2020). Furthermore, given the finding that online shopping is likely to continue even after the pandemic, fashion brands and retailers should focus on investing in e-commerce platforms and ensuring that their online presence is strong.

It is also important to note that, although the findings of this study are based on a sample of generation Z shoppers in India and the UK, it is possible that the results could be generalised to other countries and regions as well. For example, a study by Lehberger, Kleih, and Sparke (2021) found that panic buying during the pandemic was common in Germany, suggesting that shoppers in this countries may also have become more interested in sustainability as a result of the pandemic. In addition, although this study focused on generation Z shoppers, it is possible that the findings could also apply to other age groups. For example, a study by Degli Esposti, Mortara, and Roberti (2021) found that, globally, there has been a shift towards more sustainable consumption patterns among all age groups because of the pandemic. Thus, the findings of this study provide important insights into how COVID-19 has affected shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion.

5.2 Key Findings

The findings of this study suggest that, in India, there is positive relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and the consumption of sustainable fashion as well as the impact of social media. All other independent variables are statistically not significant at 5% level of significance. The study also found that in the UK, there is a positive relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and consumer beliefs and values while other independent variables are not statistically significant. In both countries, COVID-19 fuelled rise in online shopping for fashion items will continue even after the pandemic is over. Nevertheless, all the variables are positively associated with responsible purchasing behaviour in both countries, albeit some not statistically significant.

5.3 Results Interpretation

5.3.1 Multiple linear regression analysis – Indian Market

The positive relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and the consumption of sustainable fashion in India implies that as the number of people consuming sustainable fashion in India increases, so does the number of people engaging in responsible purchasing behaviour. This is likely because, as sustainable fashion becomes more popular in India, more people are becoming aware of the importance of sustainability and are thus making an effort to purchase sustainable products. In addition, the positive relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and the impact of social media in India suggests that as the number of people using social media in India increases, so does the number of people engaging in responsible purchasing behaviour. This is likely due to the fact that social media provides a platform for people to learn about and discuss sustainability issues, which can in turn lead to more people making responsible purchasing decisions. Generation Z is the most active social media users (Reinikainen, Kari, and Luoma-Aho, 2020) and, as such, it is not surprising that this age group would be most likely to be influenced by social media when it comes to responsible purchasing behaviour. Even though there is a positive relationship between the responsible purchasing decisions and second-hand clothes, this relationship is not strong enough to be considered statistically significant. This means that although an increase in the number of people buying second-hand items may lead to more responsible purchasing behaviour, this relationship is not strong enough to be considered statistically significant. In other words, India has not reached a point where the majority of shoppers are interested in buying second-hand items. Previous studies have shown that a major barrier to the purchase of second-hand items in India is the perception that such items are of inferior quality (Sukdeo, 2022). This suggests that, in order for the number of people buying second-hand items to increase, there needs to be a change in public perception of second-hand items.

Similary, beliefs and values do not have a significant relationship with responsible purchasing behaviour in India. This may be because, in India, sustainable fashion is not yet as popular as it is in other countries like UK, and thus people may not yet be as aware of the importance of sustainability. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a decrease in spending on non-essential items in India (Sharma, Gupta, & Jha, 2020) .Other explanations for the lack of relationship between beliefs and values and responsible purchasing behaviour in India could be that, due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, people are more focused on spending money on essential items and are less likely to spend money on non-essential items, such as clothing (Di Crosta et al., 2021). Furthermore, the fact that the sample size for India is relatively small (n=100) could also explain why the relationship between beliefs and values and responsible purchasing behaviour is not statistically significant.

5.3.2 Multiple linear regression analysis – UK Market

In the UK, there is a positive relationship between responsible purchasing

behaviour and consumer beliefs and values, while all other indepedent variables are statistically insignificant. This situation can be explained by the fact that, in the UK, sustainable fashion is more popular than it is in India and thus people are more likely to be aware of the importance of sustainability (Niinimäki et al., 2020). This awareness of the importance of sustainability is likely to lead to more responsible purchasing behaviour. However, the fact that second-hand clothing is also not a significant predictor of responsible purchasing behaviour in the UK suggests that, although an increase in the number of people buying second-hand items may lead to more responsible purchasing behaviour, this relationship is not strong enough to be considered statistically significant. In other words, the UK has not yet reached a point where the majority of shoppers are interested in buying second-hand items. It is also important to note that the sample size for the UK is relatively small (n=100) and thus the results of the multiple linear regression analysis should be interpreted with caution.

5.4 Theorectical Underpinning

The results of this study are underpinned by the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). The TPB is a theory that links people’s beliefs and behaviours (Ajzen, 2020). It states that there are three main factors that influence behaviour: attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control (La Barbera and Ajzen, 2021). Attitudes are the individual’s evaluation of the behaviour in question. Subjective norms refer to the social pressure to conform to certain norms and beliefs. Perceived behavioural control is the perceived ease or difficulty of engaging in a behaviour. The TPB has been found to be a valid and reliable predictor of behaviour in various studies (Ajzen, 2020; Sultan et al., 2020). In the context of this study, the TPB can be used to explain why some people may continue to shop sustainably even after the pandemic is over, while others may not. In addition, the TPB can help to explain the relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and social media, as well as the relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and consumer beliefs and values. This study’s results suggest that attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control are all important factors that influence responsible purchasing behaviour. These findings are in line with the TPB, and suggest that the TPB is a valid theory to use in order to understand responsible purchasing behaviour.

 

Table 19: Key findings of Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB).

 

5.5 Recommendation for Further Research 

In the future, it would be interesting to conduct a study that investigates the relationship between responsible purchasing behaviour and other factors, such as income, age, and location. This would help unearth any potential factors that may be associated with responsible purchasing behaviour. Additionally, it would be beneficial to study the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s shopping habits. This would provide insight into whether the trends observed in this study are temporary or if they are here to stay. Finally, it would be interesting to replicate this study in other countries to see if the results are generalizable.

5.6 Conclusion

This study set out to investigate how COVID-19 has affected shoppers’ stance on sustainability in fashion. A survey was conducted with generation Z consumers in India and the UK. The results of the survey suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on people’s shopping habits and that there has been a permanent shift towards online shopping. This study also found that the TPB is a valid theory to use in order to understand responsible purchasing behaviour. In conclusion, the findings of this study suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a permanent change in people’s shopping habits and that the trend for online shopping is here to stay. This has important implications for retailers, as they need to adapt their strategies in order to cater to the new, online consumer.

[ad_2]

#write essay #research paper #blog writing #article writing #academic writer #reflective paper #essay pro #types of essays #write my essay #reflective essay #paper writer #essay writing service #essay writer free #essay helper #write my paper #assignment writer #write my essay for me #write an essay for me #uk essay #thesis writer #dissertation writing services #writing a research paper #academic essay #dissertation help #easy essay #do my essay #paper writing service #buy essay #essay writing help #essay service #dissertation writing #online essay writer #write my paper for me #types of essay writing #essay writing website #write my essay for free #reflective report #type my essay #thesis writing services #write paper for me #research paper writing service #essay paper #professional essay writers #write my essay online #essay help online #write my research paper #dissertation writing help #websites that write papers for you for free #write my essay for me cheap #pay someone to write my paper #pay someone to write my research paper #Essaywriting #Academicwriting #Assignmenthelp #Nursingassignment #Nursinghomework #Psychologyassignment #Physicsassignment #Philosophyassignment #Religionassignment #History #Writing #writingtips #Students #universityassignment #onlinewriting #savvyessaywriters #onlineprowriters #assignmentcollection #excelsiorwriters #writinghub #study #exclusivewritings #myassignmentgeek #expertwriters #art #transcription #grammer #college #highschool #StudentsHelpingStudents #studentshirt #StudentShoe #StudentShoes #studentshoponline #studentshopping #studentshouse #StudentShoutout #studentshowcase2017 #StudentsHub #studentsieuczy #StudentsIn #studentsinberlin #studentsinbusiness #StudentsInDubai #studentsininternational
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *