Male and female consumers' knowledge, perceptions and use of clothing labels
Niemann, Anna Magdalena
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Background and motivation Clothing labels concern the permanently attached labels as well as the temporarily attached labels known as hangtags that are found on clothing products. Clothing labels assist consumers when they are deciding whether or not to purchase clothing products, by providing product information and potential care instructions. Clothing labels are made up of two attributes, namely the physical nature of clothing labels in addition to the information on clothing labels. Adequate knowledge, positive perceptions and optimal use of clothing labels may result in satisfied consumers who make responsible and informed purchases. The aim of this study was subsequently, to determine male and female consumers’ knowledge, perceptions and use of clothing labels. The provision of clothing labels does not guarantee that consumers will read, understand or apply the information on clothing labels. Therefore this research is based on retailers’ assumption that the provision of informative clothing labels is sufficient to encourage the usage thereof and that all consumers understand and perceive the clothing labels as intended. Due to the lack of research that exists in South Africa in the field of clothing labels, it is not known whether consumers have adequate knowledge and positive perceptions of clothing labels and the information on them, and whether they use the labels optimally. Methodology - The research design of this study was non–experimental, quantitative, exploratory, and descriptive. Questionnaires were used as the measuring instrument to collect the data. The study population included all the consumers in three municipalities in the North–West Province above the age of 18 years, male as well as female, who can read and who had purchased a clothing product some time from one of the selected stores. Data collection was undertaken in the Bonjana, Platinum and Southern district municipalities, which included, Rustenburg, Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom. A total of 304 usable questionnaires were obtained. Results and discussion - On average 71% of the respondents had adequate knowledge of the information presented on clothing labels (excluding the care instructions) and 65.6% had adequate knowledge regarding the care instructions. Respondents perceived colours in general (79.9%), letter size (83%) and readability (77.7%) of information on clothing labels as positive. They found it very important that the information on clothing labels will not fade (68.8%), and that the positioning remains constant (78.8%), in addition to not showing (84.9%). Respondents perceived the indication of information on clothing as positive, regarding the fibre content (84.2%), country of origin (61.2%), size indication (89.5%) as well as additional information, such as applied special finishes (76.4%) and indication of eco friendly clothing (69.5%) and licensed trade marks (78%). Respondents sufficiently made use of the care instructions in words (68.1%) and symbols (63.2%) when purchasing similar items. More than half (56.9%) of the respondents used the indication of special finishes applied to clothing during the pre– and post purchasing phase. The indication of eco friendly clothing was used by the respondents (51%) for future reference and 63.5% made use of the licensed trademarks when purchasing similar products. In conclusion the results generally indicated that the respondents had adequate knowledge and positive perceptions of clothing labels, and made use of clothing labels before, during and after purchasing clothing products. Furthermore only small significant differences were found between male and female respondents’ knowledge, perceptions and use of clothing labels. It was established that relationships do exist between respondents’ knowledge, perceptions and use of clothing labels.
- ETD@PUK