Circular Economy Principles and Their Influence on Attitudes to Consume Green Products in the Fashion Industry: A Study About Perceptions of Portuguese Students

Circular Economy Principles and Their Influence on Attitudes to Consume Green Products in the Fashion Industry: A Study About Perceptions of Portuguese Students

Luisa Cagica Carvalho (CICE, ESCE, Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal, Portugal & CEFAGE, Universidade de Évora, Portugal), Sandrina B. Moreira (CICE, Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal, Portugal & Business Research Unit, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal), Rui Dias (Institute Polytechnic of Setúbal, Portugal & CEFAGE, University of Évora, Portugal), Susana Rodrigues (School of Technology and Management, Institute Polytechnic of Leiria, Portugal) and Berta Costa (School of Tourism and Maritime Technology, Institute Polytechnic of Leiria, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9885-5.ch012

Abstract

Designing circular economy (CE) implies the adoption of a set of circular principles that support a society for the future. Understanding how CE principles influence attitudes to consume green products is a key factor aligned with consumer trends. This chapter aims to study how CE principles influence attitudes to consume green products in a particular case of fashion industry. Very few empirical studies on the perceptions of the fashion “users” exist. This chapter aims to bring some inputs to this topic. The methodology uses a path analysis study based on a sample of 110 respondents collected in a higher education institution in Portugal. The estimated model allows to test the relation between a set of variables, and the study reveals that: CE principles have a direct effect on the attitudes on the green products consumption in fashion industry in the sample considered.
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Introduction

Circular economy has been evolving as a crucial approach comparatively to the linear economy. Nevertheless, studies that use empirical approaches to deeply research this phenomena are still in their infancy. Additionaly, according to Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2017:18) “clothing represents more than 60% of the total textiles used and in the last 15 years, clothing production has approximately doubled, driven by a growing middle-class population across the globe and increased per capita sales in mature economies. At the same time, clothing use has declined by almost 40%. Both developments are mainly due to the ‘fast fashion’ phenomenon, with quicker turnaround of new styles, increased number of collections offered per year, and often, lower prices”. This fast fashion industry impacts negatively on environment due to the regular model of fast fashion consumption, the materials used and discarded in the manufacturies, and the production model based in large scale production in developing countries. The same report referred that if “fashion industry moved to a circular system the industry can unlock a USD 560 billion economic opportunity. Realising this opportunity requires new business models and collaboration across the value chain (e.g. production, marketing, and after-sales care), to keep safe materials in use”. This scenario justifies the development of more empirical studies on circular economy in fashion industry.

This chapter aims to study how CE principles influence attitudes in the green products consumption in the particular case of the fashion industry, using a sample collected among a higher education students population in Portugal.

This chapter is divided into two main parts. The first part addresses the background, i.e., the literature review with the main theorethical concepts, such as circular economy, circular economy principles, green products, green products in fashion industry, attitudes and awareness, benefits and perceptions. The second part of the chapter accounts for the empirical study and its results, and finally the last chapter exposes the concluding remarks.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Fashion Industry: It includes the production of clothing and accessories.

Green Products: Products that contain recycled materials, reduce energy and water consumption when produced, reduce packaging, generate less waste, and consequently they reduce the amount of toxic waste.

Circular Economy: It is a holistic approach to reduce, reuse and recycle the production and consumption procedures so as to minimise energy consumption and consequently waste production.

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