Over the past few years, humans’ consumption patterns have increased in such a way that natural resources are being depleted and pollution of the environment continuously increases because of the way they are living. The textile and apparel industry is also a big contributor to numerous environmental problems as it is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Both the consumers as well as the textile and apparel industry have neglected the necessity of pro-environmental behaviour in recent years and therefore it has not yet become a familiar concept in terms of apparel acquisitions. This research study focuses on exploring and describing male consumers’ pro-environmental motivation and intent to acquire eco-friendly apparel in the South African market. The intention was to introduce empirical evidence that could contribute to addressing the factors that influence pro-environmental intent with regards to apparel in the South African context. Therefore the research hypotheses as well as the framework of the research study focus on the various components or constructs from the Norm-Activation Theory (NAT) and the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as influencing factors for acquiring eco-friendly apparel in a pro-environmental manner. The relevant concepts of the NAT (i.e. awareness of consequences, moral norms) together with all the applicable concepts related to the TPB (i.e. social norms, attitude, perceived behavioural control, and behavioural intent) were included into the conceptual framework for this research study. Perceived behavioural control in particular, was extended and separated into two sub-components, namely perceived self-efficacy and controllability. For this research study, the apparel acquisition methods included apparel acquisition limits as well as apparel acquisitions based on pro-environmental attributes.
The research study was conducted in the Gauteng province with a sample of 305 male consumers. Male consumers were specifically selected as it has been found that pro-environmental behaviour seems to be less popular amongst male consumers. There also seems to be limited research regarding male apparel consumers and their apparel consumption behaviours in the South African context, contrary to female consumers and their apparel consumption behaviours. A quantitative research approach was used, with a cross-sectional survey design, for exploratory research purposes and respondents were reached by means of non-probability, convenience and snowball sampling methods. Respondents completed online as well as paper-based questionnaires that were developed according to the constructs and hypotheses of the research study. Lastly, the data was captured and coded by the researcher, and then analysed by statisticians of the University of Pretoria by making use of descriptive and inferential statistics.
The results indicated that the respondents seem to be quite aware of the consequences that the apparel industry and consumers have on the environment. It also appears to influence their overall behavioural intent quite significantly. However, it would seem that the male consumers that participated in this research study are not significantly influenced by their social and moral norms while making decisions regarding the process of acquiring eco-friendly apparel in a pro-environmental manner. The male consumers’ attitudes and self-efficacy regarding pro-environmental apparel behaviour contributed significantly to their pro-environmental intent. Controllability was not seen as a significant predictor and continued to be a challenging construct throughout the duration of this research study, with various obstacles that need to be further explained and/or explored in the future research.
Dissertation (MConsumer Science)--University of Pretoria, 2015.