Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/220401
Title: CIRCULARITY IN THE CLOTHING INDUSTRY: CONSUMER VIEWS ON CIRCULAR BUSINESS MODELS IN SINGAPORE
Authors: WEE XINYI ESTHER
Keywords: MEM
2019/2020 EnvM
Audrey Chia
M.Sc. (Environmental Management)
Issue Date: 5-Jan-2021
Citation: WEE XINYI ESTHER (2021-01-05). CIRCULARITY IN THE CLOTHING INDUSTRY: CONSUMER VIEWS ON CIRCULAR BUSINESS MODELS IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The clothing industry’s linear operating model has caused grave repercussions for the environment and mankind, and poses a complex challenge that needs to be tackled from all fronts. Central to global discussions is the circular economy, which is deemed a golden opportunity to counter the damages caused by excessive production, consumption and wastage. While research has focused on configuring production aspects of a circular economy, there is considerably less research on the attitudes of consumers towards the circular business models. Few studies with an Asian context have been carried out. This study sought to fill these research gaps with Singapore as a case study, given its unique status as Asia’s leading “green” city that is working towards becoming zero-waste, and with its growing consumer awareness on environmental and social issues. Yet textile waste has continued to increase, causing impact locally and internationally. A mixed methods approach comprising interviews and an online questionnaire was undertaken to examine the drivers and barriers that influence consumer adoption of circular business models for clothing, and to conceptualise suitable strategies to increase that adoption rate. Findings revealed that consumers were mainly driven or deterred by economic reasons, convenience, and reasons specific to individual needs and perceptions. As environmental reasons were found to be a marginal driver, it is essential for business model innovation to meet the needs of consumers, and cannot solely rely on its sustainability pull-factor to win over consumers. Low awareness and lack of exposure to the concepts of circularity and sustainability were considered significant barriers. To encourage greater consumer adoption of circular business models for clothing, tight-knit collaborations between stakeholders is needed to heighten awareness of circularity, boost circular infrastructure and business opportunities, and align circular business models with consumer needs. These strategies would complement Singapore’s efforts to become zero-waste and on a larger scale achieve the SDG of responsible consumption and production. The clothing industry has the biggest responsibility to reframe consumers’ participation in the fashion system. Governmental support is instrumental to incentivise the shift to circularity, and societal groups can foster long-term behaviour change through advocacy and outreach.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/220401
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