Green consumers through further conversation there

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green consumers . Through further conversation, there were two further categories dis- cussed which were; don t believe they can help and willing but don t know how. The interviewee went on to discuss that it would be small steps to progress, moving towards the small percentage of green consumers that would aid the industry in moving to a more sustainable future (James 2015 ). This approach considers the broad spectrum of consumers and their attitudes towards the engagement with social responsibility. Several sections as described by this brand can be related back to previous points made earlier in the chapter. For example, don t believe they can help relates back to the theory of perceived con- sumer effectiveness developed by Ellen ( 1994 ) where consumers consider the level to which their contribution to socially responsible purchasing contributes to the wider cause. Low perceived effectiveness describes when consumers feel that their contribution will help very little, the very notion that is acknowledged by the British, high-street clothing retailer previously discussed. Another example of this would be willing but don t know how which has a direct relationship with the impact consumer knowledge and awareness has on their socially responsible pur- chasing behaviour. Non-ethical behaviour has on many occasions been related to a consumer lack of knowledge of ethics and sustainability in the context of fashion. The idea of an informed decision making process is again a heavily debated topic, again relating to the relationship between knowledge and behaviour. An informed consumer could be described as someone who possess an adequate amount of knowledge in order to make an informed decision regarding their pur- chasing behaviour. However, again the subjective nature of social responsibility means that levels of knowledge will vary considerably and again this will have an impact on decisions made. The de fi nition alone of social responsibility is inter- preted by people very differently, let alone the way they relate this topic to their fashion purchasing decisions made. It is also to be acknowledged that due to the complexities with consumer knowledge and awareness levels that again the ideal informed consumer may be unattainable. This does not, however, discredit the The Role of the Retailer 23
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importance of purchasing fashion consumers having a good level of knowledge of ethical and sustainable issues pertinent to the fashion industry. Knowledge and awareness levels of such issues do, however, rely on consumers implementing this during their purchasing behaviour which is often seen not to be the case. This again questions the relationship between a consumer s knowledge of social responsibility and their actual behaviour. Relating back to the intention-behaviour gap, not only external factors can intervene in the initial intentions translating into behaviour. This gap could also be contributed to by consumers themselves and be affected by internal decisions they make when pur- chasing fashion. For example, they may be fully aware of social and environmental
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  • Fall '19
  • Business Ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Alana M. James, Bruce Montgomery

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