To Buy or not to Buy: Antecedents of Fair Trade Apparel Purchase Behavior

Su Yun Bae, Bowling Green State University, USA
Ruoh-Nan (Terry) Yan, Colorado State University, USA
Published: November 19, 2018

Citation: Bae, S. Y., & Yan, R-N. (2018). To Buy or not to Buy: Antecedents of Fair Trade Apparel Purchase Behavior. IAFOR Journal of Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences, 4(2).


Fair trade represents one of the most influential social movement that encourages sustainability and ethical consumerism in the past 20 years. While fair trade movement of apparel products is rapidly expanding, there is a dearth of understanding about the characteristics of consumers who regularly purchase fair trade apparel products. The purpose of the study was, therefore, to explore whether demographics, ethical traits, and individual characteristics such as clothing involvement helped predict fair trade purchase behaviors. Demographic variables such as gender, generational cohorts, education, and income were effective in predicting fair trade purchases. Ethical traits such as altruism, ethical concerns, and ethical obligation along with socially responsible attitudes were also able to differentiate fair trade purchase behaviors from non-purchaser behaviors. The final set of variables in a hierarchical regression model were price sensitivity, materialism, and clothing involvement. Among the individual characteristics, only the extent to which consumers were involved in clothing was associated with fair trade purchases. Investigating several sets of variables closely related to ethical consumption contributed to the literature in the context of fair trade consumer behavior.


ethics, fair trade, individual characteristics