A Study of U.S. Consumer Perceived Value and Purchase Intention Toward Recycled Material Made Athleisure Apparel

Primary author: Jessica Ganak
Co-author(s): Olabisi Adesanya; Yi-Ning Tai
Faculty sponsor: Dr. Ting Chi

Primary college/unit: Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences
Campus: Pullman


Apparel and textile industries are known for their immense contribution to environmental pollution worldwide. In recent years, practitioners and researchers work collaboratively to mitigate the negative impact of the industry on the environment. Polyester is the mostly used (60% of all materials), and non-biogradable material in apparel. Athleisure apparel is a prominent everyday wear and primarily made of polyester. Due to its latent contribution to pollution, this study aimed to identify U.S. consumers’ sustainable behavior through their perception of athleisure apparel made from recycled polyester as opposed to virgin polyester and the influence of their perception on purchase intentions. The Perceived Green Value (PGV) framework by Sheth, Newman and Gross (1991) was used. The theoretical framework consists of five-dimensional values: functional, social, emotional, conditional and epistemic values. Qualitative research method was used to ensure a rich exploration of the topic. Semi-structured interview was conducted with 16 U.S. female millennials, which were recruited through a snowball sampling method. The interviews were transcribed, and content analyzed. All the above values were important to the consumers in shopping for sustainably produced athleisure apparel. Fit and comfort were the most important qualities to the participants, and they showed willingness to pay 10-15% price premium for athleisure apparel made from recycled polyester if quality is comparable to those made from virgin polyester. This study provides implication for apparel retailers and manufacturers to communicate their sustainable practices to consumers because they showed willingness to pay price premium for sustainably produced apparel products.