An investigation of the motivations for second-hand clothing donation and purchase

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer Bauk Baker (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jennifer Yurchisin

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to investigate the motives of second-hand clothing consumers who both purchase from and donate to the retail outlet associated with one charitable organization. More specifically, individuals' motivations for donating clothing were compared to their motivations for purchasing second-hand clothing from the same location using the hedonic/utilitarian framework. Furthermore, the demographic and social psychological factors affecting individuals' motivations for donating to and purchasing second-hand clothing from a charitable organization's retail outlet were examined. Little research has been conducted in the area of clothing donation and second-hand clothing purchase, and no research could be located in which both processes were examined in the same study. The present study aimed to see if there is a connection among the two processes. By considering both processes within one retail context, a more complete understanding of the whole consumption process, from problem recognition through disposal, is obtained. Qualitative research using in-depth interviews was used for this project. Due to the lack of previous research in this area, the research was exploratory in nature. Because the purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the complex relationship that may exist between consumers' motivations for donating clothing to and purchasing clothing from one retail location, face-to-face in-depth interviews were used to uncover information about the clothing donation and second-hand clothing consumption experience of participants. Open-ended questions pertaining to the research objectives were developed so that the participants could divulge as much information about their experiences as possible. Eighteen members of the Junior League of Winston-Salem who had donated second-hand clothing to and purchased second-hand clothing from the Rummage Sale were purposively selected. Each interview lasted approximately 30 to 90 minutes, was audio-recorded, and was transcribed verbatim. Each interview transcript was read in its entirety several times, and a thematic analysis was performed. The majority of participants were categorized as either treat seekers (hedonic purchasers/hedonic donors) or rational helpers (utilitarian purchasers/hedonic donors). Only two participants were categorized as reward seekers (hedonic purchasers/utilitarian donors), and two participants were categorized as planners (utilitarian purchasers/utilitarian donors). Important demographic characteristics that influenced purchase and donation behavior included age of participants and the age of children living at home. Important social psychographic characteristics that influenced purchase and donation behavior included need for uniqueness, individuality, creativity, price consciousness, need for convenience, clothing attachment, and voluntary simplification. Additional themes related to the impact of liminality and organizational involvement on donation and purchase behavior also emerged. Limitations to this research and ideas for further research were discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Clothing donation and purchase, Hedonic utilitarian, Motivation, Second-hand clothing
Used clothing industry
Consumers $z North Carolina $v Case studies
Consumer behavior $z North Carolina $v Case studies

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