Sustainable Design









The effect of consumer attitudes on design for product longevity: The case of the fashion industry

Angharad McLaren, Helen Goworek, Tim Cooper, Lynn Oxborrow, Helen Hill

Nottingham Trent University, University of Leicester

Keywords: clothing longevity, sustainable fashion, consumer behaviour, consumer attitudes


Product longevity is a key aspect of sustainability and encouraging consumers to prolong the lifetime of products therefore has a part to play in minimising environmental sustainability impacts. The production, distribution and disposal phases of the clothing life cycle all create environmental impacts, but extending garments’ active life via design, maintenance and re-use of clothing is the most effective method of reducing the negative effects of the clothing industry on the environment. The study took an exploratory approach using mixed qualitative research methods to investigate consumer perspectives on clothing longevity and explore everyday processes and practices of clothing use, e.g. purchase, wear, care, maintenance, repair, re-use and disposal. The research findings showed that numerous factors affect consumers’ perspectives of clothing longevity during the purchase, usage and disposal stages of the clothing lifecycle. The conclusion addresses how these factors can influence product design practice in the fashion industry.

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: McLaren, A., Goworek, H., Cooper, T., Oxborrow, L., Hill, H. (2016) The Effect of Consumer Attitudes on Design For Product Longevity: The Case of the Fashion Industry. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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