This examines the use of sustainable marketing claims (SMCs) by the organic food industry using a case study approach in order to better understand the trajectory and growth of sustainable practices in consumer product marketing. Consumers are increasingly aware of sustainability issues and ethical awareness regarding their apparel purchase and consumption activities. Consumer levels of environmental concern have been found to be a predictor of larger purchasing behaviors which in turn have been applied to assumptions about apparel-specific purchasing behaviors (Kim and Damhorst, 1998). This increasing level of awareness and interest reflects a need to examine the use and efficacy of marketing claims surrounding the burgeoning sustainability movement within the apparel industry to understand the success of marketing claims. Growth in organic fiber sales of 10.4% in 2009 over 2008 sales (Organic Trade Association, 2010) suggests that as interest in organic and sustainable practices within the textile and apparel industry increases, more research is needed exploring the way in which these new products will be marketed to consumers. Findings suggest that due to the combination of consumer confusion and individual interest in egoistic SMCs over altruistic goals in ultimate purchasing decisions, marketers need to more clearly focus their message to their intended audience. Apparel manufacturers and producers may choose to have dual SMCs: an overarching philosophical corporate alignment which focuses on the altruistic nature of sustainable practices presented, in tandem with product-specific messages focusing on the egoistic properties such as quality and health benefits.
|Keywords:||Organic, Sustainable, Food, Textiles|
Assistant Professor, Division of Design and Merchandising, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
Graduate Student, Design and Merchandising, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA