Sustainability and Social Responsibility

What motivates people to repurpose their garments?: Emerging versus developed perspectives

  • Michelle Denise Burton (Kent State University)
  • Kim HongYoun Hahn (Kent State University)


Previous studies found craft-making enables makers to gain self-actualization and achieve personal goals and needs. To determine what motivates people in developed and emerging countries to repurpose their clothing based on self-construals and sustainable behavior, our research aims to study self-construals to uncover the motivations, social engagements, and sustainability aspects behind these behaviors. Participants were recruited by market-based research firm (Qualtrics), and the data was collected by residents of the United Kingdom (n=185) and South Africa (n=185). ANOVA test results showed the self-construals of those who repurposed their garments were similar. However, interdependence was slightly higher for South African participants than the U.K. participants. Types of individuals and activities they engage in with others were also analyzed and found to be different. This study provides valuable information and warrants further studies about people's motivations, social engagement, and other sustainability-related behaviors when repurposing and employing self-construal as a comprehensive framework.

Keywords: repurposing, sustainability, emerging markets, developed markets

How to Cite:

Burton, M. D. & Hahn, K. H., (2024) “What motivates people to repurpose their garments?: Emerging versus developed perspectives”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 80(1). doi:



Published on
22 Jan 2024
Peer Reviewed