Investigating the Relationship Between Consumer Attitudes and Sustainable Fashion Product Development

  • Angharad McLarenEmail author
  • Helen Goworek


This chapter investigates the relationship between consumers and sustainable fashion products, revealing views closely intertwined with the product offering provided by clothing retailers and brands, through mutual influence. The chapter draws both from the literature and a research project, which aimed ‘to explore the technical, behavioural and strategic obstacles to implementing innovative and sustainable product development processes that could enhance clothing longevity’ (Oxborrow et al. 2017). Fashion retailers and brands can acquire information about consumer attitudes through formal methods organised by consumer insights teams, such as retailers’ regular online questionnaires to selected consumers and focus groups between buyers and consumers to discuss new product samples face to face. The information acquired by these methods is exclusive to the companies concerned however, and would usually be closely guarded, remaining with the large organisations who can afford to employ their own market research teams or consultancies, whereas our study comprises findings which are applicable and freely available to companies of all sizes and can therefore have a wider potential impact upon the fashion industry. The extant literature has identified a gap for an improved understanding of consumer perspectives on sustainable clothing (see, e.g. Oxborrow and Claxton 2016; WRAP 2012), which this chapter seeks to address by investigating views on purchase, maintenance and disposal of garments.


Attitude sustainable clothing (new) product development consumer sustainability 



The primary research study discussed in this chapter is a DEFRA-funded research project EV0553 ‘Strategies to improve design and testing for clothing longevity’. Findings from this study were presented at the Design Research Society in Conference at Brighton University in June 2016 and the British Academy of Management Conference at Newcastle University in September 2016.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Management SchoolUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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