Why buy used clothing during the pandemic? Examining the impact of COVID-19 on consumers’ secondhand fashion consumption motivations

Naeun Lauren Kim, Terry Haekyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

While many fashion brands and retailers are struggling amidst the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers’ secondhand fashion consumption (SFC) is accelerating as an alternative to new clothing purchases. Despite the growing importance of the resale market and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior, a comprehensive picture of SFC amid the pandemic has yet to be researched. The purpose of this study is to examine how the impact of the pandemic influences the relationships among consumers’ motivations, attitudes, and intentions toward SFC. By applying the theory of reasoned action, consumers’ motivations (e.g., sustainability, social, variety-seeking, fun-seeking, cost-saving dimensions) behind SFC intentions between high vs. low pandemic impact groups are studied. Through the online survey with 467 participants from South Korea, our study demonstrates that consumers are motivated to engage in SFC for different reasons depending on the impact of the pandemic on their daily lives. While cost-saving and social motivations were significant drivers for the high-impact group, the attitudes of the low-impact group were mainly influenced by sustainability and variety-seeking motivations. Study findings and implications are discussed, and future research directions are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-166
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
One of the authors received internal funding for data collection.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • consumer motivations
  • pandemic
  • resale market
  • secondhand fashion consumption

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