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Background of this special issue

Two decades of fast fashion have significantly changed the clothing landscape.  The value of clothing has reduced to the point where garment lifespans are extremely short-lived and fashion items are quickly directed to garbage when the attractiveness of the clothing style fades. There are multiple causes of this textile crisis - one being low-cost production, hence low prices of garments due to mass exponential growth of manufacturing in developing countries such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Alongside this growth is a measurable decline in environmental health, due to impacts of this manufacturing on water use, and water/soil pollution. It is estimated that apparel and footwear occupy about nine percent of the world’s greenhouse gas footprint, and by 2050 will be responsible for more than 25% of the world’s carbon budget (Earth Day, 2022). According to Earth Day “the industry produces 100 billion garments a year for seven billion people and most of it (87%) will be discarded to landfill or incinerated. The production of synthetic textiles (60% of clothing) is responsible for 35% of all ocean microplastics that are now in our food chain. It contributes 20% of all industrial wastewater and pollutes freshwater systems from the use of dyes and chemicals.”

There are two obvious sides to the problems of fast fashion. One is the production and retail side of those looking to make a profitable business model. Opposite is the consumer behavior perspective which depends on such aspects as social norms, perceived needs, knowledge, and attitudes. There is also a third aspect that has been largely ignored. This is government regulations around production, trade, and tariffs. Governments have the power to regulate and change industries. However, for the most part, public policymakers have not taken proactive steps to address the environmental and social challenges of the fast fashion industry. Given this three-dimensional problem, we seek original research papers from all aspects of concern: a) business, b) consumers, and c) governmental policy.

  1. Business:

1) Provide evidence from clothing retailers and manufacturers about how they are integrating sustainable practices;

2) Offer solutions to excessive consumption through new product development and recycling and repurposing, thus changing the consumption patterns of consumers.

  1. Consumers

1) Explores and documents the behavior of consumers regarding their clothing;

2) Examines the relationships between understanding and knowledge of consumers about the textile industry and subsequent behavior;

3) Offers solutions to excessive consumption through changing the consumption patterns of consumers.

  1. Governmental Responsibilities: 

1) Proposes and/or investigates new theories to explain phenomena that drive the overconsumption of consumers, and how this might be interrupted by changes in business and government policy;

2) Extends previously developed frameworks to illustrate how government action can be leveraged to control supply and inform consumers about their choices.

Special Issue Process and Timeline

  • We cordially invite you to submit your papers on this topic to the Journal. All papers submitted to the Special Issue will follow the Journal of Sustainable Marketing review process, led by the special issue editors.
  • Submission deadline: December 1, 2024.

Guest Editors

  • Lisa McNeill, Otago Business School, New Zealand.
  • Judith Lynne Zaichkowsky, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.

More information here.

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