Exploring the Practice of African Americans’ Hand-me-down Clo ...

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Fast fashion is characterized by new looks at low-cost prices, which cause excessive clothing production and rapid clothing disposal. To assuage this problem, a plausible solution is to urge more consumers to engage in the practice of Hand-Me-Down (HMD) clothing. African Americans have a collectivistic culture and often engage in behaviors of sharing resources with one another. Despite African Americans’ resourcefulness, little research has been conducted on this group’s purchase and disposal practices. Thus, the purpose of the study is to explore the cultural cohort of African Americans and their practice of HMD clothing through the clothing lifecycle as it relates to sustainability. To examine this group’s HMD practices, fifteen interviews were conducted, utilizing African American female millennials aged eighteen to twenty-seven. Based on the results of the interviews, it appears that engaging in HMD practices allows participants to take part in sustainable practices, such as saving time and financial resources. Additionally, one’s cultural background appears to have a momentous impact on HMD clothing practices. Given the growing size of the African American consumer market and US consumers’ increasing concern over environmental issues, investigating the practice of HMD clothing by African American individuals may offer insight into an important, yet often overlooked, sustainable clothing practice.