The escalation of the access-based consumption in the fashion industry and its repercussion on the fast fashion

Papp, Orsolya (2020) The escalation of the access-based consumption in the fashion industry and its repercussion on the fast fashion. BA/BSc thesis, BCE, International Study Programs. Szabadon elérhető változat / Unrestricted version:

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In the last decade the fashion industry has gone through substantial transformations. The last century created the term fast fashion for which the industry became one of the largest polluters in the world. The mass production of cheap and therefore low-quality clothes and accessories encouraged consumers to purchase and use garments excessively even if the pieces were only usable for a short period of time. The product-life cycle of the clothes shortened but the environmental footprint of the fashion industry increased. In the mid-2000s’ the sharing economy has arrived in the apparel industry and due to the Internet and e-commerce it has accelerated quickly and new business models formed. Product-service systems disrupted commerce and new distribution channels appeared. The collaborative and access-based consumption surfaced identifying renting, swapping and exchanging clothes as a more sustainable and easier way of consumption. Subscription-based and peer-to-peer services offer a wide range of clothes to use for a period of time and a discounted price endangering the success of retailing stores. Rent the Runway, Chic by Choice or Secoo Holdings Limited are examples of companies offering a wide range of garments for people all across the world. In the last 10 years these organizations have accelerated into large firms owning the membership of tens of thousands of consumers. The thesis’s main focus is on the rapid increase of the access-based consumption in the fashion industry and its consequences on the fast fashion. The paper studies consumer attitudes and motives when engaging in access-based consumption and how it may change in the future. In order to have a wide view on the topic, the paper includes primary and secondary research. Firstly, a questionnaire helps to study anonymous persons’ knowledge, need and future usage intention toward fashion renting. As the topic of access-based consumption and renting is current, many researchers deal with the issue such as Todeschini et al. (2017), Lee & Chow (2020) and Lang, C. (2018), therefore the paper includes other researches and their findings. It is hard to take a precise and clear conclusion of the primary and secondary research. Renting has advantages and disadvantages as well. People are skeptical and, in most cases, unfamiliar with the usage of rental-commerce, however there is a clear expansion of the segment in the future. It is clear that mainly female users are interested in the idea of renting as for males the purchasing of clothes is not as important. Most of the companies, like Rent the Runway, therefore mainly focus on female fashion items. Not many people used or even heard about rental platforms though the subscribers and past users tend to engage in it more in the future as the studies have shown. If more and more fashion leaders would start to use rental platforms, the number of users would increase due to the fact that influencers have a strong impact on followers’ activities. High-end fashion items are available in these stores for which many people start using the platforms. There are pieces which would not be accessible for numerous individuals with the original retailing price. Additionally, it is financially beneficial to rent superior fashion items instead of purchasing low quality ones. The access-based consumption and rental of fashion items provide a more sustainable way of dressing fashionable, while improving the environmental damages the fashion industry and fast fashion has caused. One of the most convincing reasons why consumers would not engage in fashion renting is the strong need for physical ownership. People are not fund of the idea of paying and wearing clothes that are not owned by them. The fear of damaging the clothes, the risk of ruining reputation or just not wanting to wear items after a stranger are explanations why some would not participate in renting. Furthermore, people tend to think that rental-commerce, even if in the near future seem advantageous, would not provide economical value in the long run. It is hard to predict at what level access-based consumption will influence fast fashion and the industry itself but it is safe to say transformations will occur. Access-based consumption is already used by several costumers and the companies are growing rapidly day to day. Nevertheless, retailing and fast fashion stores are still considered the standard and safe method of obtaining fashion items. Possibly, fast fashion will not vanish and even 10 years from today people will be still purchasing from retailing stores like Zara or H&M. However, as this thesis work has shown there is a strong tendency that renting will be considered as a primary action when reaching out to fashion items in the future.

Item Type:BA/BSc thesis
ID Code:14013
Specialisation:Business Administration and Management
Deposited On:13 Oct 2021 12:03
Last Modified:02 Dec 2021 09:21

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