Library Dissertation Showcase

Impact of corporate social responsibility (csr) initiatives on consumer behavior among millennial consumers in the UK

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2023

Background: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become increasingly important for fashion brands seeking to appeal to millennial consumers, who prioritise ethics and sustainability. However, current understanding of diverse millennial viewpoints on CSR remains limited, relying on narrow demographic samples and cross-sectional surveys.

Methods/Approach: This quantitative study surveyed 102 millennials aged 18-38 in the UK using scales measuring CSR awareness, purchase intentions and brand loyalty. Non-probability sampling via social media recruited a broad sample. Participants rated CSR perceptions for three major fast fashion retailers – Primark, H&M and ASOS. Effects on purchase and loyalty were analysed using correlation, regression and dominance analysis.

Results and Findings: No significant differences emerged in CSR perceptions between the apparel retailers, contrasting assumptions that prominent brands are seen as more responsible. However, CSR perceptions positively predicted purchase intentions and brand loyalty, aligning with theoretical models. Supply chain ethics were most influential in driving purchase intent over sustainability. Additional data revealed moderate sustainability attitudes and scepticism among millennials.

Implications: Findings highlight needs for nuanced segmentation and tailored CSR initiatives resonating with diverse millennial values. Online native brands may derive greater differentiation from embedding CSR within identity. Tensions between ethical aspirations and fast fashion usage point to incorporating critical perspectives on constraints on responsible consumption.

Originality/Value: This study contributes large-scale, inclusive evidence on millennial CSR perceptions in the UK context. The conclusions dispel stereotypes of one-dimensional pro-CSR views, revealing contingencies and gaps warranting further critical, contextualised investigation. Embracing diverse millennial standpoints can strengthen fashion brands’ capacities to implement meaningful CSR agendas.

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