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I haven’t posted anymore survey results from my research in the past month. Due to preparations for my new job as consultant and project manager in the automotive industry I have been rather busy. But understanding green consumer behavior better and deriving potential sustainability marketing strategies from those insights is still an important topic for me. Even more so, as the readership of this blog has steadily increased to almost 1,000 people in the month of March. Because of the existing demand and interest I will try to publish more of the promised posts in the upcoming months:

Part 1: Descriptive results of the study including consumer attitudes, the influence of social norms and perceived obstacles in the buying process in regard to green clothing. (DONE: see Section 1, Section 2, Section 3 and an addition here)

COMING UP SOON:

Part 2: Does the outdoor sports participation frequency affect our level of connectedness to nature? And in return, does a strong environmental identity directly or indirectly influence consumer purchase intentions?

Part 3: Which psychological variables influence consumers’ buying intentions for green outerwear the strongest?

Moreover, the survey results provide promising info for product developers and marketers that want to invest into fair and environmentally friendly products including one of the most important topics: labeling. The results of conjoint analysis, which shed light on the trade-off decisions sustainable consumers have to make in the context of green clothing, further revealed more detailed, interesting results. Product attributes of the analysis included price, design, quality, alternative material and eco labeling.

I will try to create more understandable and interesting free content for practitioners as well as interested scientists stumbling upon this blog…
Hope to see you again soon! Follow me on Twitter (on the left) to get notified about the next update.

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SECTION 3 – CONTROL BELIEFS AND THE PERCEIVED LIKELIHOOD OF OCCURRENCE

Perceived behavioral control (PBC) about purchasing eco-friendly clothing stands for the problem of implementation, the missing ability to perform environmentally or socially friendly acts. The level of PBC depends on the positive perception of facilitating factors or the negative perception of obstacles and their likelihood of occurrence, no matter if the control beliefs are rational/true or not (Ajzen 1988)[1]. Perceived control over the behavior accounts for behavioral decisions that are not under complete volitional control. This means that in the context of sustainable, functional outerwear or any other type of consumer behavior regarding eco-friendly products there are several external factors, which prohibit green consumer behavior. Six key factors were used in my paper to account for the obstacles in this context. The set of questions covers some, not all, of the key marketing issues in the areas of product development, pricing, distribution and communication. They contribute to the intention-behavior gap. This gap exists because consumers with very pronounced environmental attitudes might display a strong intention to purchase eco-friendly products (see Section 1), but get obstructed by several obstacles when trying to put their intention into action.

Therefore, the following two sets of questions were asked (as in the previous blog about the effects of social influences on the development of positive or negative purchasing intentions, the results were multiplied):

Which of the following problems affect the amount of environmentally friendly outerwear that you purchase?

  • higher price of eco-products
  • availability (not enough shops)
  • limited range (choice, cuts or colors)
  • lower quality of eco-product
  • confusing variety of eco-labels
  • obtaining information regarding what products are environmentally friendly

‘always a problem’ (-3) to ‘never a problem’ (+3) // note: items are reverse coded

The second step was the consumer’s perceived control or ability to act:
Please indicate below whether or not you believe that these problems are likely to occur when shopping for environmentally friendly outerwear…
Very unlikely (+1) to very likely (+7)

Obstacles in the purchasing process of sustainable clothing and the perceived likelihood of their occurence

Obstacles in the purchasing process of sustainable clothing and the perceived likelihood of their occurrence (average per item across the entire sample)

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