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SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING ROADMAP: Public Understanding of sustainable clothing - EV0405

Defra’s Sustainable Clothing Roadmap identified the impacts of the supply, use and disposal of clothing on the `triple bottom line` of economic, environmental and social sustainability. Consumers buy an increasing number of garments because of `fast fashion`; their production may be considered ethically dubious and polluting; we consume large amounts of energy cleaning them and most are neither recycled or reused. The objective of this research was to provide evidence of consumers’ existing understanding of sustainable clothing, as well as to provide indications of how changes might successfully be made in our ‘clothing culture’.

The research process had three phases drawing on qualitative methodologies throughout. The first phase included a series of focus groups to gauge consumers` existing knowledge about the concept of sustainable clothing as well as their ideas and attitudes to it. The second phase gave a selection of people diary-based tasks to complete in their own time providing a 'wardrobe audit`. They were asked to reflect on the contents of their wardrobe, considering why they own the clothes they do, the consequences of how they look after them, how often and why and how they dispose of them. Finally, the participants came together in larger deliberative workshops to discuss a set of scenarios for alternatives to current systems of clothing provision.

Data were analysed to inform final reporting to Defra.
Project Documents
• Final Report : EV0405 Public Understanding of Sustainable Clothing   (678k)
• Final Report - Annex : EV0405 Public Understanding of Sustainable Clothing Appendices   (1617k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2008

To: 2008

Cost: £59,971
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Nottingham Trent, Dummy for Competitions
Behaviour Change              
Social Research              
Fields of Study
Sustainable Consumption and Production