Abstract Title

[MERCH] Consumer and Environmental Awareness in Athleisure Trend

Abstract

As consumers are becoming more aware of the environment, the fashion industry’s demand for sustainable fibers has drastically increased. Consumers are desiring garments that are not as harmful to the environment as they once were. To keep up with growing demand, brands are attempting to be more sustainable by not using as many natural resources. Consumers and brands have long relied on cotton as a staple natural fiber due to its comfort, ease of care, and ability to be produced sustainably. However, cotton is struggling to stay relevant in the successful athleisure trend. This trend uses mostly synthetic fibers for the utmost athletic comfort and performance. The goal of this case study is to explore how the cotton industry is attempting to battle the growing popularity of synthetic fiber usage in the athleisure market. Many brands have partnered with organic cotton initiative like Cotton Incorporated to move toward using organic, sustainably sourced, and manufactured cotton. Researching and reviewing which brands rely on cotton to construct their garments and what the brands are doing to maintain relevant in the changing market will be important. Specifically, investigating what consumers know about synthetic materials and sustainable cotton manufacturing. This information will determine how much consumers know about the garments and brands they are purchasing and whether or not it affects their purchase decision. To collect this data, we plan to distribute a survey to students in Kent State University’s school of Fashion Design and Merchandising. Because these students are largely involved in the fashion industry and are some of the biggest consumers, their insight on the subject will be impactful due to their education and their insight on the subject matter. These fashion students are also more likely to be concerned about the ethical and sustainable manner in which their clothes or clothing fibers are produced than the average consumer. The survey will use opinion based questions to gather information from students. We expect this study to find that students are more likely to pay more for products manufactured with sustainably sourced cotton, but also that they are purchasing more and more synthetic fibers in their athleisure wear, due to their comfort and durability. Brands that have partnered with the organic cotton initiative can use the survey responses to develop new techniques to make cotton more comfortable and durable while using sustainable practices.

Modified Abstract

Consumers are desiring garments that are not as harmful to the environment as they once were. To keep up with growing demand, brands are attempting to be more sustainable by not using as many natural resources. Consumers and brands have long relied on cotton as a staple natural fiber due to its comfort, ease of care, and ability to be produced sustainably. However, cotton is struggling to stay relevant in the successful athleisure trend. This trend uses mostly synthetic fibers for the utmost athletic comfort and performance. The goal of this case study is to explore how the cotton industry is attempting to battle the growing popularity of synthetic fiber usage in the athleisure market.

Research Category

Art/Fashion

Primary Author's Major

Fashion Merchandisinig

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Jewon

Lyu

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

April 2019

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM

[MERCH] Consumer and Environmental Awareness in Athleisure Trend

As consumers are becoming more aware of the environment, the fashion industry’s demand for sustainable fibers has drastically increased. Consumers are desiring garments that are not as harmful to the environment as they once were. To keep up with growing demand, brands are attempting to be more sustainable by not using as many natural resources. Consumers and brands have long relied on cotton as a staple natural fiber due to its comfort, ease of care, and ability to be produced sustainably. However, cotton is struggling to stay relevant in the successful athleisure trend. This trend uses mostly synthetic fibers for the utmost athletic comfort and performance. The goal of this case study is to explore how the cotton industry is attempting to battle the growing popularity of synthetic fiber usage in the athleisure market. Many brands have partnered with organic cotton initiative like Cotton Incorporated to move toward using organic, sustainably sourced, and manufactured cotton. Researching and reviewing which brands rely on cotton to construct their garments and what the brands are doing to maintain relevant in the changing market will be important. Specifically, investigating what consumers know about synthetic materials and sustainable cotton manufacturing. This information will determine how much consumers know about the garments and brands they are purchasing and whether or not it affects their purchase decision. To collect this data, we plan to distribute a survey to students in Kent State University’s school of Fashion Design and Merchandising. Because these students are largely involved in the fashion industry and are some of the biggest consumers, their insight on the subject will be impactful due to their education and their insight on the subject matter. These fashion students are also more likely to be concerned about the ethical and sustainable manner in which their clothes or clothing fibers are produced than the average consumer. The survey will use opinion based questions to gather information from students. We expect this study to find that students are more likely to pay more for products manufactured with sustainably sourced cotton, but also that they are purchasing more and more synthetic fibers in their athleisure wear, due to their comfort and durability. Brands that have partnered with the organic cotton initiative can use the survey responses to develop new techniques to make cotton more comfortable and durable while using sustainable practices.