Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Understanding Sustainable Apparel Consumers: An Empirical Investigation of a Consumer Typology

  • Elena Karpova (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
  • Nancy J. Hodges (University of North Carolina Greensboro)
  • Annie Williams orcid logo (University of North Carolina Greensboro)


The research results corroborated and extended the a priori typology of the four groups of sustainable apparel consumers. Based on a systematic exploration of the four groups and a nuanced understanding of their differences and similarities, we proposed several important dimensions of clothing acquisition and use to further distinguish and solidify each consumer type: acquisition and spending patterns; retail and brand orientation; preference for unique or basic clothing; clothing as an extension of self; and hedonic vs. utilitarian values. Application of these dimensions to the typology provided further support for the four sustainable consumer types. It is important to test these propositions using a large consumer sample in future research.

Keywords: sustainability, typology, afflients, minimalists, thrifters, antifashion

How to Cite:

Karpova, E., Hodges, N. J. & Williams, A., (2022) “Understanding Sustainable Apparel Consumers: An Empirical Investigation of a Consumer Typology”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 79(1). doi:

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Published on
31 Dec 2022
Peer Reviewed