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Young Chinese Consumers’ Choice between Product-Related and Sustainable Cues—The Effects of Gender Differences and Consumer Innovativeness

Rahman, Osmud and Fung, Benjamin CM and Chen, Zhimin (2020) Young Chinese Consumers’ Choice between Product-Related and Sustainable Cues—The Effects of Gender Differences and Consumer Innovativeness. Sustainability, 12 (9). p. 3818.

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Abstract

Sustainability has received widespread attention in both academia and industry, but there is still a paucity of research investigating the relationships between gender, consumer innovativeness, and clothing, as well as how they may influence sustainable practices. The overarching objective of this study is to investigate clothing expenditure, product cues (intrinsic, extrinsic and sustainable), gender (men and women) and consumer innovativeness (fashion innovators and non-innovators) in China, in order to find out how these factors may influence consumers’ choices. To address the research objective, 10 intrinsic cues, three extrinsic cues, and seven sustainable cues were used to investigate apparel consumers’ choices and preferences. A self-administered online survey consisted of eight items on sustainable commitment and behaviour, six items of fashion innovativeness adapted from the Domain-Specific Innovativeness scale, 20 items concerning product cues, and numerous demographic and behaviour-related questions. In total, 1819 usable data were collected in China, including 614 males and 1196 females. The results revealed that four out of eleven hypotheses were supported, another four were partially supported, while the remainders were not. For example, both female consumers and fashion innovators relied more on style and colour to evaluate an apparel product than fashion non-innovators and male consumers. However, men tended to rely more on the brand name and country of origin to guide their product selection and purchases than women. In terms of the influence of sustainable cues, Chinese consumers are more concerned about the social/ethical cues than environmental cues. Interestingly, women were more concerned about “no animal skin use” in evaluating apparel products than men. All in all, the results of this study can provide valuable information and meaningful insight for fashion designers, product developers, and marketers to develop effective communication strategies to guide potential customers in understanding a plethora of apparel values, including functionality, aesthetics, finances, altruism, and sustainability.

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