Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Lauren Divilly 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name is Lauren and I have recently completed the practice path of the Applied Psychology course in IADT. Originally, from Wexford, I am now living in Dublin. During my time at IADT, I found a strong passion for environmental psychology and sustainable living, which heavily influenced my final year project. Now that I have completed the course, I plan on travelling and volunteering, having been accepted to volunteer at the International Congress of Psychology (ICP) this summer. Feel free to message me with any questions!

Project Description

Purchasing second-hand clothing and goods is a great way to minimize our environmental footprint. The purchasing of second-hand clothing has become popular in the past few years, particularly in younger generations, and has moved away from the stereotype of only being for lower class individuals, however, only certain motivations for why this is have been investigated thoroughly. And so, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between impulse buying, subjective norms, and intention to buy second-hand clothing.

Project Objectives

This study had two main aims:
1) to see if there is a relationship between impulse buying and the intention to purchase second-hand clothing
2) to see if there is a relationship between subjective norms and the intention to buy second-hand clothing.
The results from this study add to the existing body of literature on the topic of second-hand clothing, from the perspective of less studied motivations for the purchase of second-hand clothing.
The study employed a quantitative, cross-sectional, and correlational method, where 277 participants completed a questionnaire consisting of three scales. The responses were analysed using SPSS version 29. The participants were also asked an open-ended question asking for their thoughts on purchasing second-hand clothing, which aimed to see their opinions on the subject matter.

Project Outcomes

The study suggests that there is a positive linear relationship between subjective norms and intention to purchase second-hand clothing, however, there is no relationship between impulse buying and the intention to purchase second-hand clothing. This meant that people are potentially influenced by others' opinions and actions to buy second-hand clothing. Interestingly, many participants commented in the open-ended question section about how much they wished to participate in purchasing second-hand clothing but can't due to the lack of clothing for men and for individuals who are considered plus-sized. However, some stated that they had come up with alternate ways to be sustainable with their clothing, such as clothes swaps among friends and family members. This research contributes to the theoretical knowledge of second-hand clothing with impulse buying and subjective norms, and also incorporates an Irish sample which has not been conducted before.

Thesis Title

Investigating The Relationship Between Impulse Buying, Subjective Norms, and Intention To Buy Second-Hand Clothing