Exploring Gender Stereotypes and Gender Role Expectations in Clothing Consumption: A Sustainability Marketing Perspective

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksPublished abstract in conference proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The textile industry causes grave socio-ecological problems. Macromarketing is therefore increasingly concerned with sustainable clothing consumption. However, although marketing research unveils that measures for altering consumer behavior must be segment-specific to succeed, and despite the fact that men and women differ remarkably in their consumption patterns, gender is mostly disregarded in this area yet. Gender studies reveal that biological arguments are insufficient to explain gendered behavior. It also stems from common conceptions in terms of typical ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ characteristics. Such stereotypes are crucial personal and social norms for peoples’ actions and may prevent sustainable consumption patterns if not suitable for the individual gender role. To explore this issue for attire we conducted focus groups with male and female consumers from Germany. Results indicate that gender stereotypes do indeed impose distinct sustainability barriers on the sexes. Accordingly, a gender-sensitive approach to the promotion of sustainable apparel consumption is needed. Moreover, our results show that a mitigation of classic gender clichés does not only support gender equality but also contributes to the dissemination of sustainable consumption practices. A hitherto unnoticed challenge in this regard though, is a current shift in the male role model, which may have severe consequences for sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings Macromarketing Conference 2018 : July 09-12th Leipzig Germany "Change between compexity and simplicity"
Number of pages2
Place of PublicationLeipzig
PublisherUniversität Leipzig
Publication date2018
Pages642 - 643
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-00-060623-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event43. Annual Conference of the Macromarketing Society 2018 - University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
Duration: 09.07.201812.07.2018
Conference number: 43