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Title: Product development : dealing with consumer demands during the development of sustainable textile products
Author: Guimaraes Moreira, Natalia
ISNI:       0000 0005 0289 1297
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2017
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Submitted to the University of Manchester by Natalia Guimaraes Moreira in fulfilment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Materials, with specialisation in Textile Science and Technology, May 2017, this thesis entitled 'Dealing with consumer demands during the development of sustainable textile products' was developed as a journal format thesis and is thus composed by seven articles. The motivation for this doctorate research came from exploratory research developed during the candidate's Masters of Science degree between the Polytechnic School of Torino in Italy and the Laval University in Canada. Focussing on a well-developed and highly regulated industry the researcher learnt that, in that industry the main barrier to sustainably developed products were the final consumers who interpreted these as inferior in quality. Once in Manchester, the focus on consumer demands and their importance in the development of new sustainable products was considered a broad topic and required a certain level of objectivity, thus converging on to the clothing industry which was created in the city of Manchester and which represented an important aspect of Britain's development, growth and power. Currently being divided between the companies which exported their production to developing countries and those that decided to stay and protect this rich heritage. Proposed initially as a three years project the amount of data and involved parties proved extensive for the time and was expanded into four years enabling data collection with suppliers, producers, shops, consumers and educational organisations (unfortunately excluding governmental actors). Developed from a strategic framework the first four papers which compose the thesis provide an extensive background and literature review to ensure the reader's proximity to the topic. Then followed by the three main implementation: (1) the awareness workshops which evaluated the consumers, their understanding of sustainability and willingness to adopt a sustainable behaviour; (2) sustainable and fair trade companies which are currently dealing with the British market and have learnt and improved from practical experiences; (3) educational parties which were seen as an extension to the future consumers who are currently being educated about sustainability, climate change and other aspects of the current consumption pattern. From the data gathered and analysed the questions raised by the research were answered and assembled into the proposition of a system which could enable a closer relationship between all the involved actors. Focusing on strengthening and encouraging sustainable consumer behaviour the three fronts of findings (consumer, enterprises and educational entities) have led to the proposition of an online ontological interface which would provide the means for a direct exchange of communication, insights and development for new collections, products and even projects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Product development ; Sustainability ; Textile industry ; Consumer involvement