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Greenwashing in the clothing industry and its impact on the corporate image of consumers in Germany

  • With issues like climate change and the pollution of our planet, more and more clothing companies are following the trend of a sustainable marketing strategy. Greenwashing is often associated with that, as not all companies are honest about their statements. This study examines how greenwashing by a company in the clothing industry impacts the corporate image of 18 to 30-year-old adults in Germany. Studies regarding sustainability, consumer behaviour towards sustainable products, the behaviour in case of greenwashing incidents, and the identification of greenwashing are investigated. For the analysis, online survey data of 244 Hochschule Furtwangen University study participants are examined. The descriptive study provides information about the behaviour of consumers regarding sustainable clothing and their behaviour when it comes to greenwashing. It was found that consumers tend not to consider sustainability when buying clothes. Very few inform themselves about sustainability, and sustainable labels do not seem to influence their shopping decisions. The image of the consumer about the company involved in greenwashing appears to deteriorate. In addition, the willingness to keep buying from the company seems to be stopped or reduced for the majority. A weak positive correlation was found between consumer behaviour concerning the topics of sustainability and greenwashing. It can be summarised that the dishonest behaviour of clothing companies can harm their consumers' corporate image and brand loyalty.

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Author:Melanie Bertsche
Advisor:Julika Baumann Montecinos
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2023
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Release Date:2023/04/05
Tag:Clothing industry; Consumer behaviour; Greenwashing; Marketing; Sustainability
Page Number:59
Degree Program:IBW - Internationale Betriebswirtschaft
Functional area:Marketing
Open-Access-Status: Closed Access 
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt