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Fashion Sustainability Research Methodology Research Paper

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Updated: May 14th, 2021

Research Philosophy

For the current project, qualitative research was chosen. The rationale for such choice was connected with the fact that qualitative inquiry concentrates on the humanistic approach to the perception of the study (Pathak, Jena, & Kalra, 2013). Quantitative methods may be more solid and trustworthy due to being established on the objective theories and numbers, but quantitative research gives insight into people’s attitudes, beliefs, relationships, and conduct (Pathak et al., 2013). More and more scholars resort to the intervention studies within the frame of qualitative analysis. The current research also includes an intervention which is aimed at providing the participants with deep knowledge about fashion sustainability and the role of Carmina Campus in gaining this sustainability (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012).

Performing a qualitative study presupposes realizing that it is “a craft” which presents some challenges for a researcher (Yin, 2016, p. 3). Three major goals are to be pursued in the course of research: transparency, devotion to evidence, and methodicness. An advantage of qualitative research is that those who conduct it can employ their own system of beliefs as the driving force for initiating the study (Yin, 2016).

One of the reasons for doing such research is the endeavor to see how people manage “in their real-world settings” (Yin, 2016, p. 3). Qualitative research was first employed by psychologists who considered it too complicated to assess people’s behavior in numbers (Pathak et al., 2013). Later, it spread to other fields of study where it allowed specialists to consider the data in the most comprehensive way. Therefore, qualitative research was employed in the current project as it enabled the attainment of a variety of opinions and their easy analysis. This type of study made it possible to find out the thoughts of many people about fashion sustainability and its connection with society. Moreover, it was possible to educate the participants about the most crucial issues in this sphere.


No research is secured from limitations. They may vary between study design drawbacks, data limitations, or impact restraints. In the current study, the most likely problem is impact limitations. For instance, there might have been a disadvantage due to the geography of the participants. Since most of them belonged to the same geographic area, there is a risk that some of the contributors could know each other. In that case, if a person from an experimental group shared the information obtained via educational intervention with someone from the control group, it could put the outcomes of the experiment at risk.

Another limitation may be associated with data. When all information was gathered and the process of analyzing it began, it became obvious that a larger amount of participants was needed. Fifty people is not a sufficient number to provide a reliable conclusion about such significant issue as fashion sustainability and its connection with society. While this number of participants was enough to conduct primary research, further steps should involve more contributors.

To eliminate the occurrence of such limitations in future, it is necessary to choose the participants from different cities, which would guarantee that they do not know each other. Also, the number of people in both control and experimental groups should be raised at least twice.


Methodological triangulation is a type of research which incorporates a combination of several methods (Bekhet & Zauszniewski, 2012). Triangulations presuppose a mix of data from various people and different periods to provide the most extensive amount of information about the researched issue.

For the current project, the following three methods were used: key informants (participants of the experimental and control groups), personal observation, and historical data. The first two methods were primary sources, and the third method was the secondary source. The research started with the secondary source – the method of historical data. To collect this data, articles, books, video clips about Carmina Campus, and interviews with the founder of the company, Ilaria Venturi Fendi, were searched and analyzed.

This method made it possible to find out about the beginning of the company, its core ideas and goals, initiatives and prospects. Also, historical data allowed to find the connection between Carmina Campus projects and society. It became clear that the company’s sustainable vision makes an impact on people via its products, and this impact is extraordinary (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). The other two approaches – personal observation and key informants – were used to find out about people’s opinions on sustainable fashion and its role in saving the world’s resources.

Key informants were the participants of the experiment. There were fifty people: twenty-five in the control group and twenty-five in the experimental group. This number was enough to obtain a variety of opinions, and at the same time, it was not too large to allow analysis. Personal observation was used to notice and analyze people’s sustainable views and see the similarities and differences in people’s attitudes.

Interpretive Paradigm

The interpretive paradigm has at its core the notion of different interpretations (Croucher & Cronn-Mills, 2015). Supporters of this approach are inclined to search for diverse explanations of various meanings. A lot of concepts and definitions give a lot of information about the analyzed phenomena (Croucher & Cronn-Mills, 2015). Along with social scientific and cultural paradigms, the interpretive paradigm is one of the basic approaches to performing research.

The interpretive method concentrates on the idea that reality is created via subjective opinions and explanations of reality (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011). Interpretivists are different from social scientists because of their assumption that the study of people should not be regarded in the same way as natural sciences (Croucher & Cronn-Mills, 2015). Interpretive researchers analyze the social issues by scrutinizing people’s goals, intentions, and communication.

Three major interpretive approaches are hermeneutics, phenomenology, and symbolic interactionism (Croucher & Cronn-Mills, 2015). Hermeneutics defines three major concepts: the dominance of subjective understanding, a lot of objects available for analysis, and the impossibility to regard separately the viewers from they are viewing (Croucher & Cronn-Mills, 2015). Phenomenology deals with the explanation of subjective experience. Symbolic interactionalism accentuates the connection between social worlds and symbols.

The reason why interpretive paradigm was chosen for this research is that I wanted to find out people’s opinions on sustainability, its importance, and the possibility of gaining it with the help of fashion. The respondents expressed their opinions, which gave a possibility to find out a variety of interpretations on the subject of the connection between fashion sustainability and society. Since the main objective of interpretive paradigm is finding out how people compose meaning in life and percept the experiences, this approach is the most suitable for the current research.


Bekhet, A., & Zauszniewski, J. (2012). Methodological triangulation: An approach to understanding data. Nurse Researcher, 20(2), 40-43.

Croucher, S. M., & Cronn-Mills, D. (2015). Understanding communication research methods: A theoretical and practical approach. New York, NY: Routledge.

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). (2011). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (4th ed.). New York, NY: SAGE.

Pathak, V., Jena, B., & Kalra, S. (2013). Qualitative research. Perspectives in Clinical Research, 4(3), 192.

Ricchetti, M., & Frisa, L. (2012).The beautiful and the good: Reasons for sustainable fashion. Venice, Italy: Marsilio.

Yin, R. K. (2016). Qualitative research from start to finish (2nd ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Fashion Sustainability Research Methodology." May 14, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/fashion-sustainability-research-methodology/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Fashion Sustainability Research Methodology'. 14 May.

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