Utility of No Sweat Labels for Apparel Consumers: Profiling Label Users and Predicting Their Purchases

By Dickson, Marsha A. | The Journal of Consumer Affairs, Summer 2001 | Go to article overview

Utility of No Sweat Labels for Apparel Consumers: Profiling Label Users and Predicting Their Purchases


Dickson, Marsha A., The Journal of Consumer Affairs


This study empirically analyzed whether consumers making apparel purchases would use a label guaranteeing certain working conditions were present during garment production. While a potential market segment for the No Sweat label was identified, evidence suggests that only a small percentage of consumers would be influenced by the label. This small market segment was profiled on its psychographic and demographic characteristics, and the extent to which the No Sweat label would influence future purchases was examined.

Since the mid-1990s, government officials, consumer activists, labor representatives, industry leaders, and the media have focused increasing attention on working conditions surrounding the production of apparel. An argument made by some of these groups is that much apparel is produced in sweatshops and that consumers, among others, must take action against this practice (Varley 1998). [1] Although there is disagreement about what constitutes appropriate working conditions in foreign countries, the U.S. government and some apparel industry leaders are developing standards and implementing codes of conduct. By implementing these codes of conduct, some apparel manufacturers and retailers and various activist organizations are promoting the concept that outside agencies monitor the conditions in apparel factories. The results of the monitoring could then be provided to consumers through a No Sweat label or hangtag that would be applied to garments produced under certain working conditions (Herman says Sweatshop Label 1998; Ramey 1996; Ross 1997). A number of politicians, as well as consumer and labor activist groups, believe that U.S. consumers would use this type of information in their decisions to purchase apparel, and if consumers refuse to buy garments without the label, they would pressure apparel manufacturers and retailers to have their factories monitored and to improve the working conditions if needed (Ramey 1995). While their assumption might seem logical, this type of consumer behavior has only limited scientific support. This study empirically examines whether and to what degree consumers would use a No Sweat label for making apparel decisions.

Consumer Support for Imporved Working Conditions

A variety of public opinion polls suggest that consumers would support policies or actions meant to lessen the chance that their garments are made in factories with poor working conditions. A 1995 survey directed by Marymount University (1995) found 78 percent of a national sample of consumers reportedly were willing to avoid retailers who sell apparel produced in sweatshops. The consumers claimed a preference for retailers committed to fair labor practices. A followup study in 1996 reported similar findings (Marymount University 1996). Likewise, a longitudinal survey of consumers conducted by Cone Communications (1999) found that approximately two-thirds of consumers said they would substitute a brand or retailer for one that is associated with a good cause. Furthermore, in a national survey of female consumers, Dickson (1999) found more than 76 percent of women professing interest in a hangtag on apparel informing them of a company's avoidance of sweatshop production. Yet, only 33 percent of the women indi cated they would sacrifice their own requirements for price to avoid purchasing apparel produced in sweatshops (Dickson 1999). This finding contrasted with information from the Marymount University studies where 84 percent of consumers seemed more willing to make sacrifices, at least in terms of price. They claimed to be willing to pay as much as one dollar or 5 percent more for apparel not manufactured in sweatshops.

Despite polls and surveys showing consumer support for campaigns to improve working considered in the apparel industry, these findings must be considered cautiously. Mislelading information can be obtained by measuring attitudes and behaviors that are not consistent regarding their target, context, time, and action (Ajzen and Fishbein 1980; Hill 1990). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Utility of No Sweat Labels for Apparel Consumers: Profiling Label Users and Predicting Their Purchases
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.