Is Green the New Black? Assessing Textile & Apparel Undergraduate Students’

Deborah J C Brosdahl


Many textile and apparel manufacturers are attempting to address consumer demand for environmentally friendly products. Concurrently, a number of textile and apparel programs are incorporating environmental responsibility into the curriculum. However, educators do not fully understand the results of these efforts in terms of providing our students with the environmental knowledge necessary to influence concern for the environment and ultimately, environmentally responsible behavior. This exploratory study investigates textile and apparel undergraduate students’ environmental knowledge, concern and responsibility. Findings suggest that teaching students about environmental responsibility in school is more effective in promotion responsible behavior as compared to students learning through the mass media. Moreover, the findings suggest that students’ knowledge, concern and behavior do not differ based on the grade level when the concept of environmental responsibility is first introduced. In addition, students majoring in production-oriented areas of apparel and textiles tend to exhibit greater levels of concern and behavior as compared to their counterparts majoring in distribution-oriented areas. Lastly, relatively few students believe they are learning enough about environmental responsibility in apparel and textile courses.

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