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  • Author: Malgorzata Koszewska x
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The Ecological and Ethical Consumption Development Prospects in Poland Compared with the Western European Countries

An overview of the Western European literature shows that one of the most distinct trends in consumption that has been noted in the recent years is globally increasing environmental and social awareness. The issue of consumers' behaviours and attitudes towards "socially responsible products" has been gaining importance in Polish economy as well. This article evaluates the development prospects of ethical and ecological consumption in Poland vis-à-vis Western European countries. The comparative analysis being part of the article utilizes primary sources of information, i.e. interviews with a representative sample of Polish adults, as well as secondary sources of information. A factor analysis or, more precisely, a principal component analysis, allowed dividing Polish consumers into groups that were typologically homogeneous in respect of their sensitivity to various aspects of business ethics and ecology.


The circular economy model has recently gained a lot of attention worldwide from scientists, business people and authorities. The importance of the transition towards a more circular economy has also been noticed in the European Union. The new regulations provide the enabling framework for the circular economy to flourish. At the same time, although there is no standardized approach to creating a circular economy, while defining appropriate policies, care must be taken that they are suitable for particular industries. The limits of the present linear economy model (take-make-waste) are extremely apparent when examining the textile and clothing industry. The transition to a circular economy requires significant changes in both production and consumption models. This article uses a literature review and industry examples to identify and evaluate challenges faced by the clothing and textile industry in adapting to the circular economy model.


The limits of the present linear economy model (take-make-waste) are well illustrated by the textile and clothing sector, one of the most indispensable consumer goods industries. Although a huge increase in the number of publications on the circular economy can be observed, the number of papers analyzing consumers’ attitudes and behavior toward circular fashion, especially the ones comparing consumers from different regions, is still limited. The article aimed to assess consumers’ attitudes toward circular fashion and draw a cross country comparison in this respect. The research focused on the three pillars of the latest EU Sustainable Product Policy Framework, i.e., designing sustainable products, empowering consumers, and circularity in production processes. An online survey and convenience sampling were used to collect valid responses from two countries (i.e., Canada and Poland) with different cultures, levels of economic development, and approaches to environmental and social issues. The results showed that significant differences between the countries emerged to a greater extent regarding consumers’ attitudes toward environmental labels for fashion products and sustainable buying behavior. The Polish respondents perceived the need for such labels to a greater extent. The Canadian ones, on the other hand, turned out to be more willing to choose sustainable clothing and reduce consumption. The differences between the countries were much less conspicuous as regards circular cues and circularity in fashion production processes. They appeared only in the case of clothing durability and the impact of production processes on air quality. Those aspects turned out to be more important for Polish respondents.