Sustainability, Fashion Design, and Consumerism: Undergraduate Entry Level Fashion Students' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Habits
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This qualitative inquiry explored 7 undergraduate students' attitudes, habits, and knowledge of consumerism, fashion design, and sustainability. The postmodern study employed crystallization as its methodological framework to gain insight into how participants' knowledge is manifested in their daily habits, and used 4 methods of data gathering: semistructured interviews, visual exercises, journal entries, and the researcher's own reflections. Four major themes emerged: Knowledge-Concepts Linked and Fragmented; Dissonance Between Knowledge Versus Attitudes and Consumer Habits; Surrendering to the Unsustainable Structures; Design Process and Caring Attitude. Findings indicate that participants possessed some knowledge of sustainability but lacked a well-rounded understanding of environmental and humanitarian implications of Western consumer society. Findings also reveal a dissonance between participants' knowledge and attitudes-affecting how their knowledge influences their behaviour-and how reflection, creative thinking, and drawing initiate change in participants' underlying attitudes. Recommendations are made to merge a variety of theoretical frameworks into the educational system in order to create curricula that offer a holistic overview and unique insights into sustainability challenges, particularly in specialized areas of the fashion industry.