This series of justi fi cations has also been

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). This series of justi fi cations has also been referred to as neutralisation, where consumers dilute their responsible behaviour through justi fi cation strategies and later deny all negative consequential impacts (Chatzidakis et al. 2007 ). This point is supported by Niinimaki ( 2010 ) who believes that consumers subconsciously make decisions based on their own individual needs. These decisions can affect and bene fi t those needs. This approach when taken by consumers can result in them feeling very unconnected with where their clothing comes from, having no awareness, knowl- edge or empathy of the manufacturing supply chain, let alone the knowledge of the ethical or sustainable issues that can occur. A further issue which is having an impact on socially responsible behaviour is the feeling that a consumer s contribution is not enough to make a difference. This phenomenon entitled perceived consumer effectiveness (PCE) (Ellen 1994 ) refers to the level of affect that a consumer believes their contribution to be making. When a consumer believes their actions have little or no effect, this is termed low perceived effectiveness (LPCE). When a consumer feels this way it is believed to have a negative impact on their socially responsible intentions overall, which again when referring to Ajzen s Theory of Planned Behaviour, is said to be indicative of behaviour. Culture is also thought to play a role within the consumer purchasing behaviour, especially within the context of ethics and sustainability (Belk et al. 2005 ). The Role of the Retailer 9
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Case Study Consumer Purchasing Hierarchy The authors conducted a study in October 2013 of 35 consumers who were asked to provide their purchasing hierarchy criteria. A controlled group of participants were targeted through an ethical fashion symposium organised by Fashioning an Ethical Industry organisation that aids students and tutors in fashion related courses. These participants were selected due to their existing interest in ethics in fashion, where their purchasing criteria could then be assessed. The participants were predomi- nantly academics and students who had an interest in ethical issues surrounding the fashion industry. The majority of participants were enrolled on undergraduate courses from various universities and colleges in the UK. Consequently a large proportion of participants were aged between 15 and 24. However, there were a number of academics and tutors that participated who fell within the age bracket of 35 44 or 45+. This wide range of participants posed several interesting areas of inquiry, including if age and salary in fl uenced the type of garments purchased and the retailer those items were bought from. This study aimed to gain an insight into the most important considerations to consumers when purchasing fashion items. The study saw participants providing information of their top fi ve considerations during their fashion purchasing process.
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  • Fall '19
  • Business Ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Alana M. James, Bruce Montgomery

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