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Article

An Ethnographic Study of Collaborative Fashion Consumption: The Case of Temporary Clothing Swapping

1
Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Department, Bryan School of Business and Economics, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27402, USA
2
Merchandising and Digital Retailing Department, College of Merchandising, Hospitality & Tourism, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203, USA
3
Fashion Design and Merchandising Program, School of Human Sciences, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39762, USA
4
College of Design, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Hyo Jung (Julie) Chang, Stacy H. Lee and Seoha Min
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2499; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052499
Received: 26 December 2021 / Revised: 30 January 2022 / Accepted: 11 February 2022 / Published: 22 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Sustainable Practices from Product to Consumer)
This is the first research that has examined temporary swapping, a form of collaborative fashion consumption, that involves clothing exchange between two people that does not require the transfer of product ownership or monetary compensation. In this ethnographic study, we explored benefits, risks, and the meanings constructed by eight women before, during, and after exchanging parts of their wardrobes with a swap partner. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was used to organize the results of interpretation of participant diaries with photographs of swapped garments and created outfits over a six-month period. While the swapping experience addressed basic physiological needs and secured free resources (more clothing to wear) for all participants, the more advanced psychological (social, self-esteem) and personal growth needs (self-actualization, transcendence) were met for only some of them. Similarly, women perceived different risks (safety and self-esteem risks). Through a holistic interpretation of the results, we discovered two critical factors determining overall temporary swapping satisfaction and success: (1) closeness of the relationship between the swap partners and (2) participant love for clothes. Temporary swapping might play a critical role in the fashion marketplace transition to sustainable consumption practices because it provides a middle ground between product ownership and non-ownership and thus facilitates gradual dematerialization of consumer lifestyle. View Full-Text
Keywords: swapping; collaborative consumption; alternative clothing consumption; Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; ownership transfer; ethnographic swapping; collaborative consumption; alternative clothing consumption; Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; ownership transfer; ethnographic
MDPI and ACS Style

Karpova, E.E.; Jestratijevic, I.; Lee, J.; Wu, J. An Ethnographic Study of Collaborative Fashion Consumption: The Case of Temporary Clothing Swapping. Sustainability 2022, 14, 2499. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052499

AMA Style

Karpova EE, Jestratijevic I, Lee J, Wu J. An Ethnographic Study of Collaborative Fashion Consumption: The Case of Temporary Clothing Swapping. Sustainability. 2022; 14(5):2499. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052499

Chicago/Turabian Style

Karpova, Elena E., Iva Jestratijevic, JuYoung Lee, and Juanjuan Wu. 2022. "An Ethnographic Study of Collaborative Fashion Consumption: The Case of Temporary Clothing Swapping" Sustainability 14, no. 5: 2499. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052499

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