In the United States, more than half of post-consumer used clothing has been discarded into landfills (Chen & Burns, 2006). Redesigning used clothing could be a sustainable alternative to disposal. Through in-depth interviews, visual analysis of redesigned clothing, and questionnaires, redesign behavior was explored. Thirty women participated in the study (mean age 43.75, 86.67% Caucasian). Participants were divided into groups based on their experience with redesign. Redesign Consumers (RC) 30% of participants, hired someone for redesign or redesigned without advanced sewing and fashion design skills. Redesign Enthusiasts (RE), 33.33% of participants, redesigned clothing for themselves, implementing advanced sewing and design skills. Redesign Professionals (RP), 36.67% of participants, had sold redesigned garments in the past. The theory of planned behavior was used as a theoretical framework for data analysis (Ajzen, 1991). Participants had a generally high level of concern for the environment, were somewhat likely feel social pressure from friends and family to behave ecologically, and engaged in several types of sustainable fashion behaviors, especially wearing used clothing. Eighty percent (n = 16) intended to keep their redesigned garments and indicated high likelihood to redesign again in the future. Participants discussed barriers to redesigning clothing, such as worry that the garment wouldn’t turn out as expected. Almost half of participants (48.28%), expected to pay less than the original retail price of the garment for redesign which could make it difficult to profit from redesign. The findings will have practical implications for entrepreneurs, who might use these results to weigh the pros and cons of starting a new redesign business.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2015. Major: Design. Advisors: Marilyn DeLong, Juanjuan Wu. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 242 pages.
A Sustainable Fashion Business Opportunity? Exploring Clothing Redesign with the Theory of Planned Behavior.
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