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Fashion consumption during COVID-19: comparative analysis of changing acquisition practices across nine countries and implications for sustainability

Vladimirova, Katia, Henninger, Claudia E, Joyner-Martinez, Cosette, Iran, Samira, Diddi, Sonali, Durrani, Marium, Iyer, Kavitha, Jestratijevic, Iva, McCormick, Helen, Niinimäki, Kirsi, Thangavelu, Priyadarshini, Sauerwein, Meike, Singh, Renu, Simek, Petr and Wallaschkowski, Stephan (2022) Fashion consumption during COVID-19: comparative analysis of changing acquisition practices across nine countries and implications for sustainability. Cleaner and Responsible Consumption, 5. p. 100056. ISSN 2666-7843

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic caused and still causes unprecedented disruptions in daily lives of billions of people globally. It affects practices and routines across all household consumption domains, including clothing consumption. Drawing on Social Practice Theory, this article explores and compares changes in clothing acquisition practices during COVID-19 across nine countries: the USA, the UK, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Iran, Czech Republic, India, and Hong Kong SAR. Data was obtained through a standardized survey containing rated and open-ended questions, which were analyzed through descriptive quantitative analysis and inductive qualitative content analysis of open-ended questions. The results of this cross-country research indicate that all forms of fashion consumption, including more sustainable practices, have decreased during the pandemic. The most visible impacts have occurred in the material arrangements associated with fashion acquisition practices (e.g., closed physical shops, shipping disruptions, cancelled events, remote work, etc.). However, changes that result from these disruptions may be shorter-lived that changes that happened as a result of changing meanings associated with fashion consumption and its more sustainable forms and new competencies and skills acquired during the pandemic that could ensure more lasting practicing of more sustainable forms of fashion consumption.

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