The impact of moral philosophy and moral intensity on purchase behavior toward sustainable textile and apparel products

Heesook Hong, Jeju National University
Ji Hye Kang, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

This study investigated the causal–effect relationships among moral philosophy, moral intensity, and purchase behavior toward environmentally sustainable textile and apparel products. A research model incorporating two dimensions of moral philosophy (i.e., idealism and relativism), five dimensions of moral intensity (i.e., magnitude, probability, temporal immediacy, proximity, and social consensus), and purchase behavior toward sustainable textile and apparel products was tested using consumer data collected from a wide age range of Korean females through online surveys. Organic and naturally dyed textile and apparel products were selected as focal interests of this study due to the significance of the two product markets in Korea. The results revealed that, of the two dimensions of moral philosophy, only idealism had a significant impact on overall moral intensity and moral intensity had a significant impact on consumer purchase behavior toward sustainable textile and apparel products, which confirmed the sequential relationship among the variables. As the first attempt, to our knowledge, to apply an ethical view to environmentally sustainable textile and apparel product consumption, this research contributes to a deeper understanding of the determinants of sustainable textile and apparel consumption among Korean consumers and the development of effective marketing communication strategies targeting Korean consumers.