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Publication

Examination of the design process of repurposed apparel and accessories: An application of diffusion of innovations theory

Irick, Erin
Abstract
The overconsumption of fashion products has resulted in an abundance of second-hand apparel and textiles, which are still functional, but have been discarded because they are no longer fashionable. This second-hand apparel can be recycled in various ways, including repurposing the fabric into a new apparel and/or accessory product. This method of apparel and textile recycling was the focus of this study. Apparel designers creating repurposed apparel and/or accessories were surveyed to better understand the process they go through when repurposing apparel and textiles. Roger's (1983) Diffusion of Innovations Theory was used as the theoretical basis for this study. The innovation characteristics were used to predict the designer's current and future usage of the process of repurposing. The researcher also measured the designer's opinion leadership and environmental awareness to determine the effect on the perceptions of the innovation characteristics and the current and future usage of the process of repurposing. Results of the content analysis show there is no standardized process for repurposing and a proposed process was created as a result of this study. The results of the multiple regression indicated that the innovation characteristics are significant in predicting the current and future usage of the process. The results of the MANOVA indicated no significant difference between the levels of the designer's opinion leadership and environmental awareness on their perceptions of the innovation characteristics or their current and future usage of the process of repurposing. Repurposing apparel and textiles could be a solution to the problem of fashion overconsumption and could keep unwanted second-hand apparel and textiles out of the landfill and preserve precious natural resources for future generations.
Date
2013-12