Consumers' knowledge of textile label information:  an exploratory investigation

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    Textile label information facilitates consumers' pre- and post-purchase decisions. Because consumers' knowledge regarding this information is relatively unexplored in a South African context, it was the focus of this exploratory descriptive study. A face-to-face survey was employed among respondents (n = 120) recruited at selected public locations in Potchefstroom, North-West Province, South Africa, according to predetermined inclusion criteria. The majority of respondents were able to correctly locate specific information (such as country of origin, size and fibre content; 75%) and identify textile and care symbols (78%) on the label, but were less knowledgeable about synthetic fibres (41%) and certain care symbols (53–58%). More educated, younger respondents speaking Eurocentric languages (Afrikaans and English) appeared to be more knowledgeable about textile label information than respondents speaking an African language. Even though respondents had excellent label knowledge in most instances, a lack of practical application of this knowledge was evident in their reading of care labels pre- and post-purchase, as well as in their use of textile labels to make purchasing decisions. Educational programmes regarding textile labels should thus emphasize the skills that are necessary to optimally utilize labels