Challenging Current Fashion Business Models: Entrepreneurship Through Access-Based Consumption in the Second-Hand Luxury Garment Sector Within a Circular Economy

  • Shuang HuEmail author
  • Claudia E. Henninger
  • Rosy Boardman
  • Daniella Ryding
Part of the Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes book series (EFEPP)


The purpose of this chapter is to investigate drivers of (non)participation in access-based consumption and the underpinning motives of becoming (or not) a micro-entrepreneur within the circular economy. Peer-to-peer platforms and drivers of (non)participation within the context of the UK’s second-hand luxury market are currently under-researched. This chapter is exploratory in nature and utilises a qualitative research approach. This study conducts semi-structured interviews with consumers from varied demographical backgrounds to gain an insight into consumers’ perceptions of access-based consumption and sustainability. Findings identified drivers of (non)participation and the emergences of a (potentially) new micro-entrepreneur. It is further explored whether this would be a feasible business model for the future with consumers actively buying into the access-based concept. Although findings cannot be generalised, the data provides thinking points for future research and investigates an economically significant context. Gaining an insight into this newly emerging trend could help retailers to capitalise on disruptive innovations and change consumer perceptions of partaking in access-based consumption. Thus far, drivers of (non)participation in the context of the UK’s second-hand luxury industry remain under-researched, and the economic significance of the sector indicates the necessity of this research.


Sustainability Access-based consumption Second-hand luxury fashion Business model Renting Circular economy Micro-entrepreneur 


  1. Akbar, P., Mai, R., & Hoffmann, S. (2016). When do materialistic consumers join commercial sharing systems. Journal of Business Research, 69, 4215–4224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Armstrong, A., & Page, N. (2015). Creativity and constraint: Leadership and management in the UK creative industries. Creative Skillset. Retrieved January 26, 2018 from
  3. Bardhi, F., & Eckhardt, G. M. (2012). Access-based consumption: The case of car sharing. Journal of Consumer Research, 39, 881–898.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Belk, R. (2014). You are what you can access: Sharing and collaborative consumption online. Journal of Business Research, 67(8), 1595–1600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bellotti, V., Ambard, A., Turner, D., Gossmann, C., Demkova, K., & Carroll, J. M. (2015). A muddle of models of motivation for using peer-to-peer economy systems, CHI 2015, April 18–23, 2015, Seoul: Republic of Korea.Google Scholar
  6. Bian, Q., & Forsythe, S. (2012). Purchase intention for luxury brands: A cross cultural comparison. Journal of Business Research, 65(1), 1443–1451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bodgan, R., Taylor, S. J., & DeVault, M. (2015). Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.Google Scholar
  8. Botsman, R., & Rogers, R. (2010). What’s mine is yours—How collaborative consumption is changing the way we live. London: Harper Collins Publishers.Google Scholar
  9. Bucher, E., Fiesler, C., & Lutz, C. (2016). What’s mine is yours (for a nominal fee)—Exploring the spectrum of utilitarian to altruistic motives for internet-mediated sharing. Computer in Human Behaviour, 62, 316–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Butler, S. (2017) Gucci owner gest teeth into snakeskin market with python farm. The Guardian. Retrieved October 26, 2017 from
  11. Cervellon, M.-C., Carey, L., & Harms, T. (2012). Something old, something used: Determinants of women’s purchase of vintage fashion vs second-hand fashion. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 40(12), 956–974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Channel 4. (2017). Undercover: Britain’s cheap clothes: Channel 4 Dispatches. Channel 4. Retrieved September 18 2017 from
  13. Chen, J., & Kim, S. (2013). A comparison of Chinese consumers’ intentions to purchase luxury fashion brands for self-use and for gifts. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 25(1), 29–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Clifford, E. (2011). Consumer attitudes towards luxury brands. UK, November 2011. Mintel, London.Google Scholar
  15. Danziger, P. (2005). Let them eat cake: Marketing luxury to the masses—As well as the classes. New York: Dearborn Trade Publisher.Google Scholar
  16. Drapers. (2013). Drapers luxury report 2013. Drapers. Retrieved January 26, 2018 from
  17. Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., & Jackson, P. R. (2012). Management research. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. Eastman, J. K., Goldsmith, R. E., & Flynn, L. R. (1999). Status consumption in consumer behaviour: Scale development and validation. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 7(3), 41–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fletcher, K. (2008). Sustainable fashion and textiles: Design journeys. Sustainable fashion and textiles: Design journeys. Earth Scan: London.Google Scholar
  20. Gardetti, M. A., & Torres, A. L. (Eds.). (2013). Sustainability in fashion and textiles: Values, design, production and consumption. Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf Publishing.Google Scholar
  21. Ghisellini, P., Cialani, C., & Ulgiati, S. (2016). A review on circular economy: The expected transition to a balanced interplay of environmental and economic systems. Journal of Cleaner Production, 114, 11–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gleim, M., & Lawson, S. J. (2014). Spanning the gap: An examination of the factors leading to the green gap. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 31(6/7), 503–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Guiot, D., & Roux, D. (2010). A second-hand shoppers’ motivation scale: Antecedents, consequences, and implications for retailers. Journal of Retailing, 86(4), 383–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Henninger, C. E., Alevizou, P. J., Goworek, H., & Ryding, D. (2017a). Sustainability in fashion—A cradle to upcycle approach. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  25. Henninger, C. E., Alevizou, P. J., & Oates, C. J. (2016). What is sustainable fashion? Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 20(4), 400–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Henninger, C. E., Alevizou, P. J., Tan, J., Huang, Q., & Ryding, D. (2017b). Consumption strategies and motivations of Chinese consumers—The case of UK sustainable luxury fashion. Journal of Fashion Marketing & Management, 21(3), 419–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Isla, V. L. (2013). Investigating second-hand fashion trade and consumption in the Philippines: Expanding existing discourses. Journal of Consumer Culture, 13(3), 221–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Joy, A., Sherry, J. F., Jr., Venkatesh, A., Wang, J., & Chan, R. (2012). Fast fashion, sustainability, and the ethical appeal of luxury brands. Fashion Theory, 16(3), 273–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Karaosman, H., Brun, A., & Morales-Alonso, G. (2017). Vogue or vague: Sustainability performance appraisal in luxury fashion supply chains. In Sustainable management of luxury (pp. 301–330).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kastanakis, M. N., & Balabanis, G. (2014). Explaining variations in conspicuous luxury consumption: an individual differences’ perspective. Journal of Business Research, 67(10), 2147–2154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kestenbaum, R. (2017). Fashion retailers have to adapt to deal with secondhand clothes sold online. Forbes. Retrieved January 26, 2018 from
  32. Lastovicka, J. L., Bettencourt, L. A., Hughner, R. S., & Kuntze, R. J. (1999). Lifestyle of the tight and frugal: Theory and measurement. Journal of Consumer Research, 26(1), 85–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Li, G., Li, G., & Kambele, Z. (2012). Luxury fashion brand consumers in China: Perceived value, fashion lifestyle, and willingness to pay. Journal of Business Research, 65(10), 1516–1522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Matzler, K., Waiguny, M., & Füller, J. (2007). Spoiled for choice: Consumer confusion in internet-based mass customization. Innovative Marketing Journal, 3(3), 7–18.Google Scholar
  35. McDonough, W., & Braungart, M. (2002). Cradle to cradle: Remaking the way we do things. New York, USA: North Point Press.Google Scholar
  36. Niinimäki, K. (2013). Sustainable fashion: New approaches. Helsinki, Finland: Aalto ARTS Books.Google Scholar
  37. Park, H., & Armstrong, C. M. J. (2017). Collaborative apparel consumption in the digital sharing economy: An agenda for academic inquiry. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 41, 465–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Perlacia, A. S., Duml, V., & Saebi, T. (2016). Collaborative consumption: Live fashion, don’t own it (Doctoral dissertation, Norwegian School of Economics).Google Scholar
  39. Phau, I., & Prendergast, G. (2000). Consuming luxury brands: The relevance of the ‘rarity principle’. Journal of Brand Management, 8(2), 122–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rude, L. (2015). 4 keys to a successful sharing economy business model. Text100. Retrieved January 26, 2018 from
  41. Ryding, D., Henninger, C. E., & Blazquez Cano, M. (forthcoming). Vintage luxury fashion: Exploring the rise of secondhand clothing trade. Palgrave Advances in Luxury Series. London: Springer.Google Scholar
  42. Schaefers, T., Wittkowski, K., Benoit, S., & Ferraro, R. (2016). Contagious effects of customer misbehavior in access-based services. Journal of Service Research, 19(1), 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schwartz, A. (2015). Regulating for rationality. Stanford Law Review, 67(6), 1373–1410.Google Scholar
  44. Stephany, A. (2015). The business of sharing: Making it in the new sharing economy. The business of sharing: Making it in the new sharing economy. Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  45. Thomas, D. (2007). Deluxe: How luxury lost its luster. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Tsai, S. (2005). Impact of personal orientation on luxury-brand purchase value: An international investigation. International Journal of Market Research, 47(4), 427–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Turunen, L. L. M. (2017). Interpretations of luxury: Exploring the consumer perspective. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  48. Turunen, L. L. M., & Leipämaa-Leskinen, H. (2015). Pre-loved luxury: Identifying the meanings of second-hand luxury possessions. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 24(1), 57–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tynan, C., McKechnie, S., & Chhuon, C. (2010). Co-creating value for luxury brands. Journal of Business Research, 63(11), 1156–1163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Veblen, T. (1889). The theory of the leisure class. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  51. Vigneron, F., & Johnson, L. W. (2004). Measuring perceptions of brand luxury. Journal of Brand Management, 11(6), 484–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Walker, S. (2006). Sustainable by design: Explorations in theory and practice. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  53. Wang, Y., & Griskevicius, V. (2014). Conspicuous consumption, relationships, and rivals: Women’s luxury products as signals to other women. Journal of Consumer Research, 40(5), 834–854.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuang Hu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claudia E. Henninger
    • 1
  • Rosy Boardman
    • 1
  • Daniella Ryding
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MaterialsUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations