#millennials #consumerbehavior #socialresponsibility #productattributes #purchasingintentions #traceability #madeinUSA

During my graduate research assistantship, in collaboration with my graduate advisors, a topic about Millennial consumers’ perceptions of socially responsible product attributes (SRPA) (i.e. no sweat label, fair wages, safe work environment, etc.) and the decision-making process of purchasing USA Made versus Foreign Made apparel emerged, which resulted in two peer-reviewed articles.

Millennial consumers, born between 1980 and 2000, are one of the largest consumer groups, yet there is limited knowledge about their apparel product purchasing intentions. Millennials are said to make sustainability-based decisions and to have a strong social and environmental consciousness. This study explores US Millennial consumers’ consumption values in relation to social cause product attributes of environment, labor, and traceability along with 12 more traditional attributes such as fit or style. Consumption values include the perceived importance of functional, monetary, emotional, social, and epistemic benefits derived from the apparel products.

Online survey data were collected from 307 students attending a major western US university. The research hypotheses are tested using regression analyses with jeans as the apparel product category. Results suggest that traditional attributes remain a stronger influence on consumption values than social cause attributes, and that social cause product attributes, while influencing four consumption values, did not influence the social consumption value. Consumption values influence US Millennial consumers’ purchase intentions and these mediate the influence of traditional and social cause attributes on purchase intentions. Further investigation is suggested for clarifying the discrepancy between what is reported regarding Millennial consumers’ convictions and their intended apparel purchase behavior.

(Presented at ITAA 2015 - to download the proceeding, click here)

(Full-text publication)