Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Testing the Effects of an Apparel Sustainability Index on Consumers’ Brand Attitudes and Evaluations: An Application of Signaling Theory

Authors
  • Annie Williams orcid logo (UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School)
  • Nancy J. Hodges (University of North Carolina Greensboro)
  • Kittichai Watchravesringkan (University of North Carolina Greensboro)

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the effect of an apparel sustainability index (ASI) label on consumers’ brand attitudes, brand equity, and brand resonance evaluations.

Design/Methodology: A 2x2 between-subjects design was employed with a sample of 243 US respondents.

Findings: The ASI’s sustainability value had a significant effect on consumers’ attitudes and brand evaluations, while its visibility placement had a significant effect on their brand evaluations. Knowledge, biospheric, and altruistic values moderated the relationship between the ASI sustainability value and consumers’ attitudes toward the brand.

Research limitations/implications: Results show that an ASI label serves as a form of signal, enabling consumers to differentiate between high- and low- sustainable apparel items, and subsequently sustainable and unsustainable brands. Results extend Signaling Theory by identifying another nuance of signals, their visibility, as well as additional types of feedback that result from a signal: positive consumer attitudes, brand equity, and brand resonance.


Keywords: Sustain*, Signal* Theory, Index, Communicat*, Apparel, Brand Equity, Brand Resonance

How to Cite:

Williams, A., Hodges, N. J. & Watchravesringkan, K., (2024) “Testing the Effects of an Apparel Sustainability Index on Consumers’ Brand Attitudes and Evaluations: An Application of Signaling Theory”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 80(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/itaa.17528

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Published on
27 Jan 2024
Peer Reviewed