Sustainable Consumption Among Young Adults: Attitudes and Behavior Regarding Sustainable Fashion Consumption

Kristin Anna Finke

Student thesis: Master thesis


The research on environmental and sustainability related topics has increased over the past few years, however young adults’ attitudes and behavior regarding sustainable consumption, especially fashion consumption, have not yet received much attention in academic research.

Despite their relevance for future business, with them being tomorrow’s consumers.

Therefore, this study explores the attitudes and consumption behavior of eleven young adults from Germany, ages 17 to 19, through qualitative research. It is going to be investigated to what extent young adults’ interests and engagement in activities to fight climate change trans-late into sustainable consumption habits.
The exploratory research was carried out by analyzing secondary and primary data and by employing semi-structured interviews to gain insights from the participants. The data was analyzed based on a thematic analysis and the findings were structured into three overall themes: fashion consumption habits, awareness and experience with the topic of sustainabil-ity.
Referring to the theory of planned behavior proposed by Ajzen (1991), the analysis provides findings highlighting an attitude behavior gap among the participants. Although all partici-pants claim to be interested in sustainability, they fail to implement environmentally friendly changes especially in terms of fashion consumption behavior. This study indicates that there are some main barriers hindering implementation: convenience, lack of awareness and suffi-cient interest, social influence and price consciousness.
Consequently, implications for management are proposed, which may help sustainable stores respond to the young adults’ needs, making them aware of sustainable offers and entailed benefits for themselves and the environment while making the transition to sustainable fash-ion consumption as convenient as possible for the consumers.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages287
SupervisorsMeike Janssen