Greenwashing and third-party certifications in the fashion context
: examining the moderating role of third-party certifications between well-known brands’ involvement in greenwashing schemes and consumers’ brand valuations

  • Inês Ventura Nunes Pereira (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


From doing irreversible damage to the planet and its resources, to failing to comply with the workers’ rights, the excessive production and consumption of fashion products has brought worrying environmental and social complications. In the light of these events, while some companies have developed Corporate Social Responsibility policies in order to be more ethical, others decided to engage in greenwashing practices, misleading consumers and circumventing their desire for ethical products. Greenwashing has in turn created a consumer scepticism about the brands’ ethicality. In an attempt to overcome this issue, brands have been increasingly interested in obtaining third-party certifications to safeguard the ethical characteristics of their products and their business. Based on prior academic literature, an experimental study was conducted to examine the impact of well-known brands’ involvement in greenwashing schemes on consumers’ brand valuations and the moderating role of third-party certifications in mitigating those impacts. Results show that brands’ greenwashing practices have a negative impact on consumers’ brand valuations. Namely, on perceived ethicality, trust, brand loyalty, perceived quality, purchase intentions and willingness to pay. Additionally, findings show that third-party certifications are able to partially mitigate the negative impacts of greenwashing. This dissertation provides important theoretical and managerial contributions highlighting the ethical role of brands in the fashion industry. Also, it provides important implications for marketers and brands wanting to understand more about the negative effects of greenwashing and, simultaneously, the tactical implications in restoring consumers’ confidence after such scandals.
Date of Award29 Jan 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorVera Herédia Colaço (Supervisor)


  • Greenwashing
  • Third-party certifications
  • CSR
  • Ethical fashion
  • Consumer perceived ethicality
  • Consumer trust
  • Brand loyalty
  • Perceived quality
  • Purchase intentions
  • Willingness to pay


  • Mestrado em Economia

Cite this