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Exploring antecedents to the attitude-behavior gap for sustainable fashion consumption in Germany

Mira Bocti
Samer Ajour El Zein
Roberta Giannini
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Climate change is a major concern today. This concern has led to the emergence of pro- environmental market trends, such as ethical consumerism. Although many consumers hold positive attitudes toward purchasing sustainable brands, their actual behavior is often inconsistent with their attitudes. This phenomenon, referred to as the attitude-behavior gap, has been an ongoing topic in many research papers. However, this gap with regards to sustainable fashion consumption has received limited attention and few researchers have identified potential marketing tactics to bridge the gap. The first purpose of this study is to gain insight on reasons behind the attitude-behavior gap for sustainable fashion consumption in Germany. The SHIFT framework is then applied to identify potential marketing tactics that could help reduce this gap. Fourteen interviews of German consumers, who expressed concerns about environmental degradation and stated that they had changed at least some of the their consumption behaviors in line with those concerns, were conducted to better understand attitudes toward purchasing sustainable fashion as well as factors that may impede behavior consistent with those attitudes. Interviews were analyzed using the grounded theory method. Analysis revealed the following potential contributors to the attitude-behavior gap for sustainable fashion: price, lack of presence, information, fashionability, self-over-sustainability and powerlessness. Based on these findings and the SHIFT framework, marketing tactics that could potentially influence sustainable fashion consumption were then identified. These tactics may prove useful for marketers in the sustainable fashion sector.

Attitude-behavior gap, sustainable fashion, marketing strategies, consumer behavior

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Bocti, M., Ajour El Zein, S., & Giannini, R. (2021). Exploring antecedents to the attitude-behavior gap for sustainable fashion consumption in Germany. Journal of Sustainable Marketing, 2(2), 27–38.

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