Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


School of Business, Computing & Humanities

First Advisor

Mr. Gerry Gallagher

Second Advisor

Dr. Clare Rigg


The following research dissertation was carried out with the intention of solving the question of whether there is a mass market for ethical fashion in Ireland. To answer this question, awareness of ethics in fashion among Irish consumers was investigated, along with general attitudes to ethical fashion, and whether ethics affects fashion purchase behaviour. The research was carried out over the space of six months and comprised a triangulated multi-method approach, consisting of primary and secondary research. Quantitative descriptive research was conducted through a questionnaire and the primary qualitative method used was a focus group. Secondary research took the form of a literature review. A sample size of 120 was used for the questionnaire and there were five participants of the focus group. Non-probability sampling in the form of convenience sampling was the sampling method used.

The research discovered that there does not appear to be a mass market for ethical fashion in Ireland at the moment. It was found though that there may be potential for a niche market in the future. However more awareness of ethical issues in relation to fashion is required if this is to happen. Wider distribution of ethical fashion brands is also needed, along with ethical fashion companies placing more emphasis on promoting their clothing range. The study also found that it seems ethics has little impact on consumers’ clothing purchase behaviour, and that ethical fashion appears to be most associated with being expensive and with fair-trade.

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