Sustainable Clothing Consumption

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The production and use of clothing is a heavy burden on the environment that continues to increase. This empirical study shows necessary ways for consumers to improve purchase and utilization of clothing to reduce environmental impacts. The data used in the present study came from a nationwide sample of Japanese females between 18 and 69 years old, which was made via a web questionnaire survey conducted in 2020. Covariance structure analysis demonstrated that “Number of purchases” significantly increased when purchasing clothing for “Social and emotional motives,” and significantly decreased when “Emphasis on quality” of clothing and “Planning of purchases.” Purchasing for “Social and emotional motives” showed significant impact on “Easier abandon of clothing”; in contrast, “Number of purchases,” “Emphasis on quality” of clothing, and “Planning of purchases” had no effect. These results suggest that to improve the sustainability of purchases and utilization of clothing, it is necessary to understand our purchasing behavior tendencies with regard to clothing and learn specific clothing management and purchasing methods. Although the number of items purchased increases when people are motivated by advertisements to buy clothing based on fashion trends, it is difficult to coordinate new clothing items with those already owned, and people tend to stop wearing these. Being aware of this behavioral tendency and planning purchases in advance will help reduce the number of clothes purchased and lead to sustainable consumption. In addition, as part of consumer education, it is necessary to emphasize that some functions that we want to enjoy from clothing can be fulfilled not only by purchasing items but also through rental services.