Consumer Engagement in In-store Incentive Based Recycling Programs

The apparel industry has been regarded as a major contributor to global climate change, especially due to the rise of "fast fashion." As more consumers become aware of this and adopt environmentally friendly practices, an increased number of apparel brands have begun offering sustainable programs to consumers in order to promote sustainability and maintain a positive brand image. The programs offered include in-store recycling programs, which offer incentives to consumers for their contribution. Previous research in sustainability within the apparel industry has primarily focused on the demographics of consumers who approach traditional environmentally friendly efforts, such as curbside recycling programs and donation services. The objective of our research was to determine whether consumers' behaviors and attitudes affected their approach towards in-store incentive based recycling programs. Our research was conducted using an online survey developed in Qualtrics which was then distributed via our team's social media platforms and an email to the Apparel Merchandising and Management department. Our sample size, after filtering responses, was comprised of 84 respondents. To analyze our data, a linear regression analysis was used to determine whether our hypotheses were supported in our data. Our data was only able to support our second hypothesis, which displayed a positive correlation between fashion conscious consumers and hedonic consumption towards in-store recycling programs. Therefore, our team may infer that consumers who exhibit a high level of fashion consciousness would approach in-store incentive based recycling programs to receive the satisfaction of doing so and to enjoy the shopping experience afterwards.