Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Sustainability through an Equity Lens: Barriers to Sustainable Fashion Consumption for Racial Minorities

  • Naeun Lauren Kim (University of Minnesota)
  • Paige Elizabeth Tomfohrde (University of Minnesota)
  • Elizabeth Bye (University of Minnesota)


Sustainable fashion has been touted as the climate change solution we need to address the current overconsumption and pollution issues. The adoption and use of more sustainable fashion concepts by consumers are more critical than ever before. As a first step, it is essential to understand what barriers inhibit sustainable purchase behaviors. Thus far, these barriers have been researched extensively among the broader public, especially in western societies (Joshi & Rahman, 2015). However, current research has not examined how minority-race individuals (BIPOC) within the United States experience barriers to sustainable fashion consumption (SFC). Consumption barriers for racial minority consumers could differ from the established ones since their lived experiences are different. This study seeks to rectify that gap in the research by understanding the relationship between minority-race individuals and established barriers, as well as potential new minority race-specific barriers for SFC through a quantitative method.

Keywords: Sustainability, BIPOC, race, consumption barriers, theory of planned behavior

How to Cite:

Kim, N. L., Tomfohrde, P. E. & Bye, E., (2022) “Sustainability through an Equity Lens: Barriers to Sustainable Fashion Consumption for Racial Minorities”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 79(1). doi:

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Published on
31 Dec 2022
Peer Reviewed