Predicting the Consumption of Fair Trade Sports Apparel: A Theoretical Conceptual Approach

Christoph van de Sand

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this thesis was to understand and predict the behavioral intention to purchase fair trade sports apparel. The motivation to investigate this phenomenon stemmed from the conviction that fair trade principles will become increasingly important in the sports apparel industry. This belief was substantiated by a wide range of indicators such as the emergence of new organizations aiming to disrupt and improve the precarious working conditions for countless factory workers around the globe. Moreover, further approaches to apply the fair trade
principles to the industry were expounded. In order to make those approaches more tangible, a few real-life examples were presented.
Since fair trade sports apparel is a widely inexistent phenomenon, there is virtually no existing research investigating this subject. Therefore, the author chose a methodological approach that can be understood as a combination of delineation and integration. The main result was an overarching framework that accommodates previous findings and sets them into relation. The theoretical foundation of the developed model was Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior, which was enriched by further theories and extended by additional variables that are believed to be relevant for explaining the consumption of fair trade sports apparel. Therefore, the extended model is expected to possess higher predictive capabilities than the original model for the given case. The six identified predictors are the attitude towards the fair trade movement, the product- specific attitude, past fair trade purchases, moral norms, subjective norms and the perceived behavioral control. Beyond that, the author offered an overview over the forces that influence and determine those six predictors. Based on the model, strategies were derived, which aim to favorably influence specific variables and thus to increase the likelihood of a successful conversion from intention to actual behavior. However, due to the predefined scope of this
thesis, the author refrained from conducting empirical research. Yet, detailed instructions were given on how certain variables can be measured and how the model as a whole can be validated through future research.
Eventually, the model is believed to be a very helpful guideline to holistically analyze why people may or may not choose to purchase fair trade sports apparel, even in its current, untested form.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages99
SupervisorsJesper Clement