Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education

Committee Chair(s)

Brian K. Warnick


Brian K. Warnick


Donna M. Brown


Andrew Deceuster


Lucy M. Delgadillo


Tyson J. Sorensen


This study examined the effects that sustainable fashion education had on college students’ attitudes, subjective norms, knowledge, and intention to make sustainable apparel choices. In addition, relationships were analyzed and interpreted between intention and attitudes, subjective norms, and knowledge. The need for this research stems from changes in the fashion industry that required the adoption of new business models. The circular economy model embraces a culture that makes, consumes, enriches, or returns the product to supply chains. For the circular model to be successful, all stakeholders must understand the role one plays in creating a sustainable industry. The consumer is an essential player in the circular model. Overconsumption and underutilization of clothing by the consumer are currently not sustainable.

This quantitative study was guided by Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior that predicts individual intention to engage in a behavior in which the person can exert self-control. This study followed a quasi-experimental design with paired t test and correlational analysis, collecting from a sample of 97 college students. Pretest and posttest survey data was gathered from college students before and after they completed a series of online learning modules about fast fashion and sustainable fashion. This study provided evidence that educational intervention influences a significant change in subjective norms, attitudes, knowledge, and intention. Research findings show that subjective norms and attitudes had significant relationships with intention to make sustainable apparel choices.

The findings from this research support a need for education about the impacts apparel and clothing choices have on our environment. Results also provide evidence that education makes a positive impact. Conclusions from the research provide implications for FCS professionals exploring topics and approaches for educating others about sustainable apparel production, consumption and care, and a return to production.



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