Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Consumers’ Moral Beliefs on Corporate and Individual Responsibilities for Circular Fashion Co-creation

  • Chung-Wha (Chloe) KI (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
  • Sangsoo Park (Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade)
  • Jung E. Ha-Brookshire (University of Missouri-Columbia)


Fashion industry has been condemned as the world’s second most polluting industry after the oil industry. Some argue that this is mainly attributable to the economic system it has been adopting—a linear economy’s (LE’s) take, make, dispose system. take, make, use, reuse again and again system has recently emerged as an innovative alternative. Fashion companies’ take-back programs—an initiative to collect used clothing from consumers to recycle and put them back into the supply chain—are one of the key CE initiatives that we can see today. Despite the industry efforts to make circular fashion (CF), we identified three shortcomings in the current literature. First, it is not easy to make fashion truly circular because fashion supply chain is extremely fragmented. Second, given that CF stands for reusing materials again, a true circularity cannot be achieved without consumers’ engagement, e.g., to return their used clothes for firms’ reuse. Yet, less is understood about whether consumers even care for CF. Third, the literature lacks of indicating whether and how fashion firms can achieve true circularity by sharing their CF philosophy with consumers. This study addresses the aforementioned shortcomings by building on moral responsibility theory of corporate sustainability. This study investigates whether and how morally grounded traits—consumers' (H1) perceived corporate moral responsibility, (H2) perceived consumer moral responsibility, (H3) their interaction effect, and (H4) perceived corporate hypocrisy—influence their attitudes, and ultimately their (H5) engagement intention toward fashion companies' take-back programs.

Keywords: Take-back programs, Sustainable fashion, Circular fashion, Circular economy

How to Cite:

KI, C., Park, S. & Ha-Brookshire, J. E., (2020) “Consumers’ Moral Beliefs on Corporate and Individual Responsibilities for Circular Fashion Co-creation”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 77(1). doi:

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Published on
28 Dec 2020
Peer Reviewed