'Greening' Fashion Discourse- An Exploration of Young German Consumers

Fritzsche, Laura Sophie (2011) 'Greening' Fashion Discourse- An Exploration of Young German Consumers. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Registered users only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (7MB)



This dissertation explores the ways young German Consumers make sense of conventional fashion versus "green" or "sustainable" fashion. Four mini- Focus Groups were conducted with 18 participants that discussed their perceptions and experiences of fashion. The industry is one of the most environmentally damaging in the world and per head consumption of clothing has grown drastically in the last century, making it an important area for Sustainable Consumption research. The 16-27 year olds spend the largest percentage of their disposable income on fashion and accessories in Germany and are upcoming major consumers in other areas, too and thus a relevant group to look at in this context.

The analysis identified nine reoccurring themes, which the groups elaborated on in creating their discourses. Thompson and Haytko's "Speaking of Fashion" (1997) assisted in the identification of patterns the youths used to create a discourse that they felt comfortable in, such as self- identification through the contrast to the perceived "mainstream other". Normalization of objectively very problematic practices, such as over consuming as a hobby on the one hand and justifying their non-acquisitioning of green fashion through lack of financial capability on the other hand, also took place. A splitting into two discourses occurred, one rather abstract and normative, the other one "real", everyday life related.

Previous findings of e.g. Vogel (2005) were affirmed, young consumers in Germany will only purchase green fashion if they deem it fashionable enough to fit their lifestyle as well as "affordable" and available enough, for them not to go out of their way to buy it. The participants did not question the capitalist system or their own consumption behaviour sincerely and the results were broadly in line with much older studies, which raises the question why consumers perceptions and opinions have not changed in times of intense climate change discourses and fashion industry scandals.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2012 13:20
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 12:24
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/24965

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View