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An investigation of the effects of environmental claims in promotional messages for clothing brands

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine how consumers respond to environmental claims of three types contained in promotional messages attributed to one respected "green" brand and one mainstream leisure clothing. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A mall-intercept questionnaire-based survey in one city in Australia collected responses from 380 respondents, who rated environmental claims contained in promotional messages delivered via garment tags attached to T-shirts. Findings ‐ Shoppers responded more positively to product-related messages than cause-related messages. They found environmental claims to be more credible if attributed to the green brands than to the neutral brand. Research limitations/implications ‐ Future research might focus on the "green" market segment rather than interacting with the general population, and devise niche marketing strategies to clothes retailers. There is also room for more vivid pro-green statements as test stimuli, perhaps generated by in-depth qualitative research. Practical implications ‐ Though consumers are becoming increasingly green-minded, the result is not necessarily more consumption of green products, but "better" consumption behaviour in general. Retailers should build a store image that clearly transmits their green credentials, as a proxy for the quality and nature of merchandise they carry. Originality/value ‐ Relatively little is known about green brands and environmental message appeals in clothes marketing, and no study has yet focused on Australia.

Keywords: Australia; Consumer behaviour; Green marketing; Product design; Retail management

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 30, 2007

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