About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6233-6242
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

RAISING AWARENESS OF SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES THROUGH EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION

M. DeLong, G. Goncu Berk, E. Bye, J. Wu

University of Minnesota (UNITED STATES)
Developing sustainable best practices requires systems thinking within a matrixed process. With diminishing resources, adopting sustainable practices that will not exploit earth’s resources is an inevitable behavior change for every individual on the planet. Apparel is an example of a product associated with short life cycles and rapid changes in consumption. Most of the time practices related to the clothing life cycle from production to retailing, use, care, and disposal contradict environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability. Thus, transformative change is called for in the practices of all those involved with apparel consumption: the consumer and the fashion industry composed of designers, producers, marketers and institutions involved in education of professionals. Such a change will mean finding a way to move toward more sustainable practices, with the first step to increase awareness. Consumers and the industry must change perceptions to shift habits and practices to reflect sustainability. In this context education can contribute to making consumers more aware of relevant social , economic and ecological factors.
This study focuses on consumption behavior and poses the question: how does the consumer of apparel respond to an educational intervention designed to increase awareness of the need to adopt sustainable practices? The intervention included a 20 minute PowerPoint presentation and a brainstorming exercise. The presentation was designed to increase consumers’ awareness of sustainability and included a definition of sustainability from a systems theory perspective, discussion of sustainability in the apparel industry and best practices of apparel consumption. Following the presentation, consumers individually brainstormed about how to improve sustainable practices of apparel consumption and then responded to the post survey. Subjects totaling 320 in two age groups, 18-28 and 60-70 years participated in the intervention. They were asked to respond to a survey both pre and post intervention that consisted of questions posed about sustainability, both open-ended questions and questions on a 7- point scale.
Responses were compared before and after intervention and between the two age groups. There were more similarities than differences in the two groups, especially in the direction of positive change in response from pre to post survey. While both groups increased in mean scores from pre to post intervention on questions such as, “How much do you consider sustainability when purchasing a clothing product”, the older age group often had a higher mean score compared to the younger group following the intervention.
This study offers hope that such an intervention provides a means to increase awareness of the need to adopt sustainable practices for the consumer of apparel products. The intervention design should be specific and focused on the problem. Included should be both visual examples illustrating specifics of the problem and reflective activities to increase understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of sustainability. Including such specific details helps to put the issue in context for the audience to be reached.
@InProceedings{DELONG2011RAI,
author = {DeLong, M. and Goncu Berk, G. and Bye, E. and Wu, J.},
title = {RAISING AWARENESS OF SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES THROUGH EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {6233-6242}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. DeLong AU - G. Goncu Berk AU - E. Bye AU - J. Wu
TI - RAISING AWARENESS OF SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES THROUGH EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 6233
EP - 6242
ER -
M. DeLong, G. Goncu Berk, E. Bye, J. Wu (2011) RAISING AWARENESS OF SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES THROUGH EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 6233-6242.
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