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Determinants of Organic Cotton Apparel Purchase: A Comparison of Young Consumers in the U.S.A. and South Korea

Fashion Merchandising, STEM Education & Professional Studies, 4129 Education Building, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2025; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062025
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 10 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

The purpose of this research was to examine consumers from distinct cultural groups and identify similarities and differences in their green purchase behaviors. The sample consisted of consumers from the U.S.A. and South Korea and the theory of planned behavior was used as a theoretical framework to test the influence of diverse constructs on consumers’ purchase intentions toward organic cotton apparel. For both countries, perceived behavioral control (PBC) and descriptive norms were strong predictors of purchase intentions and injunctive norms strongly influenced attitude formation. However, the study also found different results between the two groups. For example, while attitude was the strongest predictor of purchase intentions in the U.S.A. group (strength of influence on intentions: attitude > descriptive norms > PBC > injunctive norms), it had an insignificant effect in the South Korea group. For the South Korea group descriptive norms and PBC had strongest effects on consumers purchase intentions (strength of influence on intentions: descriptive norms = PBC > injunctive norms > attitude). South Koreans were more affected by the social pressure: their purchase intentions were strongly influenced by both injunctive norms and descriptive norms in contrast to the findings from American consumers. Injunctive norms were an insignificant predictor of purchase intentions in the U.S.A. group. This result is consistent with previous research that suggest conformity is a crucial factor for people belonging to a collectivistic culture. Exposure of others’ purchasing behavior is particularly important in motivating consumers’ buying in collectivistic culture. Marketers of organic cotton apparel may consider using diverse formats of media to display consumers’ ethical buying behaviors or creating product design or packaging that can directly reveal the ethical features of the product to display greater exposure in the market. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic cotton; consumers; cross-cultural; structural equation modeling; theory of planned behavior organic cotton; consumers; cross-cultural; structural equation modeling; theory of planned behavior
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Han, T.-I. Determinants of Organic Cotton Apparel Purchase: A Comparison of Young Consumers in the U.S.A. and South Korea. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2025.

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