To Be or Not to Be Emotional about Sustainability

An exploratory study of Finnish consumers’ views on sustainability in the clothing sector

  • Taina Vuorela LAB university of applied sciences
  • Kristiina Brusila-Meltovaara LAB UAS
  • Sari Alatalo
  • Helena Arttola
Keywords: sustainability, emotions, purchases, clothing industy

Abstract

To Be or Not to Be: Emotional about Sustainability in Product/Service Descriptions

Sustainability has become a buzz word in business (Viljanen & Juuti 2018). This phenomenon can also be observed in the brief product descriptions provided in the clothes tags by the clothing industry, which has a notorious reputation for pollutive production processes. How are companies presenting their products to buying customers in the limited space provided by the clothes tags? The state of our environment requires sustainability measures: this is a rational observation. Yet, sustainability seems also an emotional issue for some customer segments, more so than to the others. We address how consumers make buying decisions: rationally or emotionally or using a mix of the aforementioned. Is the content of the product labels helping consumers make the types of buying decisions that they want or are they misleading them? We will particularly examine sustainability as an aspect of making the purchasing decision. The use of specific words as an indicator of sustainability has been undertaken in a number of studies ( Kotonen 2019; Kotonen & Savonen 2014) This article explores the most common terms or words used in sustainable garment clothes tags, which consequently help purchasers make informed decisions about whether they are buying sustainable goods - through identifying specific terminology. Athletes require rigorous protection against the cold and the sun when exercising. Such outgoing consumers may be assumed to be also interested in nature protection and environmentally-friendly materials. The aim of the present article is to analyse the clothes tags collected during 2018-2020 with a specific focus on the clothing sold for athletic purposes with a special focus on the discourse used. The theoretical framework of the paper will involve both sustainability: economic, environmental and social sustainability viewpoints, as well as discourse analytical approaches, both quantitative and qualitative.

References:

Bacigalupo, M., Kampylis, P., Punie, Y., Van den Brande, G. (2016).EntreComp: The Entrepreneurship Competence  Framework.  Luxembourg:  Publication  Office   of  the  European   Union;  EUR   27939   EN; doi:10.2791/593884  https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC101581/lfna27939enn.pdf

Laine, K. 1996, Cloze readability of financial reports: a cross-national comparison, PhD, University College of North Wales, UK.  Available: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.318944

Kotonen, U. (2009) Formal Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting in Finnish Listed Companies. Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 176 – 209. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1827313&show=abstract.

Kotonen, U. (2009) Third-party assurance practices on CSR reporting: Experiences and views from large Finnish listed companies. The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 219 – 236.
https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/thirdparty-assurance-practices-of-corporatesocialresponsibilityreporting?category_id=cgrn&path=cgrn%2F289%2F291.

Kotonen, U. & Savonen, T. (2014) Sustainability in travel industry: Empirical findings from the biggest travelcompanies operating in Finland. The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, vol. 10. issue 3 – 4, pp. 15 – 30. https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/sustainability-in-the-travelindustry?category_id=cgrn&path=cgrn%2F289%2F294.

Liang, P. & Guo, S. (2015). Social interaction, Internet access and stock market participation—An empirical study in China, Journal of Comparative Economics, Vol. 43(4), pp. 883-901.

OP suuryritystutkimus: Suomalaiset suuryritykset valmistautuvat matalan kasvun aikaan (2021)
https://news.cision.com/fi/op-ryhma/r/op-n-suuryritystutkimus--suomalaiset-suuryritykset-valmistautuvat-matalan-kasvun-aikaan,c3266433

Nieminen, T. (2013) ''Siinä onkin hommaa, jos puhtaan eettistä toimintaa maapallolta haluaa löytää''– Piensijoittajien näkemyksiä eettisestä sijoittamisesta, Maisterin tutkielma, Helsingin Yliopisto.

Saarela, A. (2018 ) Piensijoittajan päätöksentekoprosessiin vaikutavat tekijät osakemarkkinoilla, Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto.  https://trepo.tuni.fi//handle/123456789/26981

Uzsoki, D. (2020) Sustainable Investing: Shaping the future of finance. IISD: International Institute for Sustainable Development. https://www.iisd.org/system/files/publications/sustainable-investing.pdf

Viljanen, S. & Juuti, P. (2018) Arvovallankumous. Eettisyys innovaatioiden lähteenä yhteiskunnallisissa yrityksissä. Keuruu: Edita.

References

References:

Bacigalupo, M., Kampylis, P., Punie, Y., Van den Brande, G. (2016).EntreComp: The Entrepreneurship Competence  Framework.  Luxembourg:  Publication  Office   of  the  European   Union;  EUR   27939   EN; doi:10.2791/593884  https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC101581/lfna27939enn.pdf

Laine, K. 1996, Cloze readability of financial reports: a cross-national comparison, PhD, University College of North Wales, UK.  Available: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.318944

Kotonen, U. (2009) Formal Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting in Finnish Listed Companies. Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 176 – 209. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1827313&show=abstract.

Kotonen, U. (2009) Third-party assurance practices on CSR reporting: Experiences and views from large Finnish listed companies. The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 219 – 236.
https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/thirdparty-assurance-practices-of-corporatesocialresponsibilityreporting?category_id=cgrn&path=cgrn%2F289%2F291.

Kotonen, U. & Savonen, T. (2014) Sustainability in travel industry: Empirical findings from the biggest travelcompanies operating in Finland. The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, vol. 10. issue 3 – 4, pp. 15 – 30. https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/sustainability-in-the-travelindustry?category_id=cgrn&path=cgrn%2F289%2F294.

Liang, P. & Guo, S. (2015). Social interaction, Internet access and stock market participation—An empirical study in China, Journal of Comparative Economics, Vol. 43(4), pp. 883-901.

OP suuryritystutkimus: Suomalaiset suuryritykset valmistautuvat matalan kasvun aikaan (2021)
https://news.cision.com/fi/op-ryhma/r/op-n-suuryritystutkimus--suomalaiset-suuryritykset-valmistautuvat-matalan-kasvun-aikaan,c3266433

Nieminen, T. (2013) ''Siinä onkin hommaa, jos puhtaan eettistä toimintaa maapallolta haluaa löytää''– Piensijoittajien näkemyksiä eettisestä sijoittamisesta, Maisterin tutkielma, Helsingin Yliopisto.

Saarela, A. (2018 ) Piensijoittajan päätöksentekoprosessiin vaikutavat tekijät osakemarkkinoilla, Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto.  https://trepo.tuni.fi//handle/123456789/26981

Uzsoki, D. (2020) Sustainable Investing: Shaping the future of finance. IISD: International Institute for Sustainable Development. https://www.iisd.org/system/files/publications/sustainable-investing.pdf

Viljanen, S. & Juuti, P. (2018) Arvovallankumous. Eettisyys innovaatioiden lähteenä yhteiskunnallisissa yrityksissä. Keuruu: Edita.
Published
2022-08-10
Section
5.3 Emotions within and between Organizations