Faculty Advisor

Dr. Christie Klimas


While a majority of research in ethical fashion consumption is largely focused on contexts such as means of production or the decision-making process of consumers, this research seeks to explore external barriers to millennial consumption of sweatshop-free clothing. Consumer concern and consumer awareness has increased, but this is not reflected in the market. This research seeks to deepen the knowledge into some external factors beyond that of consumer decision-making and other internal factors of the self (i.e. guilt) that impact purchasing. A two-part survey was conducted, featuring a choice experiment where respondents had to choose from various white t-shirt options. This paper focuses on the results of the second part of the survey. These t-shirts varied due to the attributes of price, country of manufacture, and presence of environmental or social label. The results showed that university students pay attention to price as their predominant determinant to purchase. There was also evidence that the presence of environmental labels, social labels, and the “Made in the USA” label, also influenced purchasing decisions. This paper contributes to a greater understanding of Millennial and Generation Z consumers, and gives insight into ways to make ethical clothing more attractive and popularized.