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.
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