Labelling wool products for animal welfare and environmental impact

Gwendolyn Hustvedt, Hikaru Hanawa Peterson, Yun Ju Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The notable growth of the market in recent years indicates apparel consumers' interest in organic fibre products. Yet less is understood about how apparel consumers would respond to labelling for other credence attributes associated with animal-fibre products, such as animal welfare or eco-friendliness. An online survey of 507 US consumers was used to compare consumers' reactions with a variety of labelling schemes for wool product attributes, including animal-friendly, organic and environmentally friendly production. Consumer segments were created based on frequency of label choice, and analysis of variance and multinomial logit regression were used to identify and characterize the demographics and psychographics of the consumer segments that found labelling for animal welfare or environmental concerns appealing. The study identified a segment of consumers (19% of the sample) who were motivated to purchase apparel products labelled for animal welfare. These animal-focused consumers could be identified with relatively high accuracy from the demographic and psychographic variables in the model. The model variables, which included familiarity with organic products and self-perceived knowledge about environmental damage related to apparel production, were not effective in identifying the environment-focused apparel consumers. The results also demonstrated the ability of a general belief in animal rights to motivate the apparel consumers in the sample, suggesting that acting on a concern for animals could be a more powerful motivation for consumer behaviour than acting on a concern for the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-437
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Animal welfare
  • Apparel
  • Country-of-origin
  • Eco-labels
  • Organic
  • Wool


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