The role of sustainable labels in the fashion industry

  • Sofia Margarida Crasto Correia Ribeiro (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The fast-paced growth in the fashion industry, over recent years, has brought about consumer concerns and societal pressure for change in the sector’s global environmental footprint. Accordingly, businesses have incorporated more sustainable products into their offerings, strategically adopting uncertified SLs to reduce information asymmetries between the brand and the end consumer and facilitate purchasing decisions. Nonetheless, the lack of clear regulation on sustainable garment production, gives rise to greenwashing practices ultimately leading to reduced customer trust in uncertified SLs. Consequently, corporations have recently adopted TPC labels, such as the EU Ecolabel, to restore stronger product associations with the label’s sustainable claims.The experimental study aims to understand the impact of uncertified and TPC SLs on consumers. It further focuses on the Heuristic-Systematic Model, proposing individuals processSLs systematically or superficially determined by the level of cognitive load available to the mat the time of purchase. Through cognitive manipulation, the study attempts to comprehend how the two SLs are processed under the different levels of cognition. The findings revealed the presence of SLs results in stronger inferences on sustainable product attributes whilst simultaneously being used as Heuristics on WTP, Purchase Intention, Brand Environmental Friendliness and Guilt. Moreover, consumers superficially make stronger inferences on the previously mentioned product attributes in the presence of a certified label in comparison to an uncertified label. This dissertation provides theoretical and managerial implications, highlighting the role of SLsunder different processing approaches, whilst allowing marketeers to gain a deeper understanding of which strategic tactics to reinforce.
Date of Award27 Jan 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJoão Niza Braga (Supervisor)


  • Fashion industry
  • Sustainable labels
  • Greenwashing
  • EU Ecolabel
  • Heuristics
  • Dual-process theories
  • Guilt


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

Cite this