Environmental and Ethical Perceptions Related to Clothing Labels Among Norwegian Consumers
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionResearch Journal of Textile and Apparel. 2013, 17 (1), 50-58. 10.1108/RJTA-17-01-2013-B005
Norwegian consumers know little about eco-labeled garments as almost none are available on the market. Therefore, consumers who want to make environmentally sound choiceshave to act based on other information. This article discusses the environmental and ethicalperceptions of Norwegian consumers that are related to fiber content, maintenance, size, and country of origin labels. The analysis draws conclusions from a research project where in-depth interviews were used to collect qualitative data on consumer attitudes, knowledge, and habits. The results show that several different types of labels on textiles can be connected with environmental impact, both directly and indirectly. Sometimes wrong assumptions are made, such as when all natural fibers are considered to be always more sustainable than synthetics. The country of origin label is even used to evaluate the production conditions or quality. The care label affects selection of laundry method and has great environmental consequences, yet it is not usually perceived to include environmental information. Ill-fitting clothing is an important disposal reason, and many respondents wish for consequent size labeling and more information on the clothing fit.