Literature Review And Focused Group Discussion On Organic Apparel Consumption

Factors Influencing Consumer Purchase of Non-Synthetic Garments

A literature review has various purposes one of which is to help the researcher in developing a clear understanding and knowledge of the previous works and trends that are similar to the research problem. This implies that several theories regarding the topic should be reviewed for a deeper understanding of the subject under consideration.

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The literature review on the theory of planned behavior model has to some extent brought into light some of the factors influencing the consumption of non-synthetic garments. From the review, subjective norms, perceived behavior control, attitude and purchase intention clearly come out as factors influencing consumer purchase of non-synthetic clothes.

However, a good literature review should contain other components for a deep insight into the topic. These include a clear investigation of the dependent variable of the topic of which the article has a narrow explanation on. Besides, the literature review on the independent variable does not come out clearly, for example, when the researcher states that subjective norms affect those consumers who succumb to the pressure of the society but the research does not point out the effects of individual norms on consumption of organic apparel.

Secondly, the literature review only focuses on the theory of planned behavior model. In the real sense, there are other theories relevant in explaining factors that influence consumer purchase of a particular commodity. Among these theories is the theory of consumer utility. This theory postulates that a consumer aims at maximizing his/her utility subject to the budget constraint.

Moreover, the summary on literature review does not come out clearly since the researcher simply concludes the review.  A good literature review should contain a clearly thought out conclusion which should give a good picture to the potential users of the research including the manufactures of the organic clothing.

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A literature review also serves to identify a knowledge gap or a research gap. However, from this literature review, the research gap does not come out clearly since the available review happens to be closely related to the researcher’s research gap. This should not be the case because one is only interested in the added value that a researcher has to offer besides the available literature.

A conclusion of a literature review often should indicate more references on available theories regarding the topic under study, however, this review only concludes without giving such references and thus limits the usefulness of the research only to this particular literature review.

Characteristics of a Good Focused Group Discussion

A focused group discussion should have a small number of people. This ensures that everyone fits well around the table and that every participant is fully participating in the discussion. In contrast, when there are a large number of people, some may end up not contributing to the subject under study. The research on organic apparel consumption used at most six members in each focus group during the discussion. This is a good number. Majority of the members contributed during the discussion except those who were not previously informed about the topic of discussion. A well-focused discussion group should, therefore, have a maximum of around ten members.

Another characteristic of a focused group discussion is the use of open-ended questions. This implies that a researcher should not ask questions that require either a yes or no answer. This helps to ensure that the information obtained is not subjective as the participant is given freedom to say what he or she feels about the topic under discussion. This is clearly indicated in the research questions that were asked during the research period. For example, the question on the occasion of purchase and the of type attire.

Asking of non-brand questions also forms part of the focused group discussion characteristics. This means that the questions asked should be general which ensures that the researcher not only gets information on his or her topic but also information on other competing products.

Recording of audio or taking notes should be another essential characteristic of a good focused group discussion. This makes it easy for one to refer to the original responses from the participants and thus maintaining the original information. Audio recording not only provides first-hand data but also maintains the originality of the information. From the research methodology used, that is the focused group discussion, the audio recordings were facilitated using a smartphone thus it satisfied this particular characteristic.

The use of a moderator with relevant knowledge on the topic of discussion is another characteristic. This ensures a discussion within the limits of the subject under discussion. The moderator sees to it that the participants restrain themselves within the topic of their discussion. From the research paper provided, the discussions were moderated by an expert who is a researcher in the qualitative domain with a post-doctoral knowledge on the qualitative research techniques.

The main sampling method used in this study is purposive sampling. In this technique, the researcher is dependent on his or her own knowledge when choosing members of the population to participate in the study.  In conducting the research, the researcher grouped the participants into four focused group discussions. All the participants came from the same city. Furthermore, the selected participants were the individual who was acquainted with the researcher. In addition to this, the selected participants constituted of two groups who were students and the other two groups comprised of the university colleagues. The total number of participants was twenty-six, the first three groups comprised of six members each and the last group consisted of the remaining. The researcher exempted the study from the institutional review board for the protection of human subjects.

Outcomes of the Research on Organic Apparel consumption

One of the major demerits of the sampling method used here is that the researcher prone to bias in his or her selection. This implies that the research can to a great extent influence the information provided and thus leading to false or inaccurate results. From the above, the researcher selected participants who were acquainted with him which creates a high chance that the researcher might have influenced the information given by the respondents.

Proportionality is also another problem associated with the use of this sampling method (Palys, 2008 p.67). Purposive sampling does no account for proportionality of participants among its focus group discussions thus the outcome from each focus group may differ significantly based on the number of members in each group. From this research article, the researcher uses four focused discussion groups with the first three groups having six members and the last group having eight. This proportionality ultimately brings about differences in the outcomes or the results of the study.

The research selected all of its participants from the same city to represent the whole population of the country. This implies that there is no equal chance offered to the other cities to also take part in the study. Therefore, this means that the results of the study would definitely not be a representative of the whole population.

Other demerits of the purposive sampling method include no possibility of any clue about how accurate the investigation carried out by this method is and furthermore, the method is unsuitable for very large samples (Tongco, 2001 p.150).

The research article presents the following outcomes;

Intention to purchase organic apparel.

According to the research article, the participants based their decision to buy organic apparel on the fabric used in making the apparel, the store selling the given apparel, the type of the attire and the time of purchase. In this regard, the participants indicated that the material that is comfortable to the body is a superior feature. This is indicated by the participants’ choice of cotton and linen over other materials. From the above, the research does not factor out the tests and preferences for the mixed materials.


With regard to the attitude of the respondents, price did not feature out as a major determinant influencing the purchase of the organic apparel rather the consciousness about the environmental effects to happen to have a great influence on the type of the attire one chooses to purchase. This indicates that the participants wish to see natural things exist for a long time for the good of the future generations. Besides, the other participants claim that a lower price would be necessary to suit a common man’s wallet. From the above outcome, it is evident the research does not clear on which basis, between the price of the commodity. or the concern over the environment, the consumers make their buying decisions.

Product knowledge and involvement.

Based on this outcome participants within the age group of twenty to twenty-nine years have shown their interest in being included in the production process of organic apparels, certification, price setting and quality determination. Involvement in the production process is important, however, the production process may not always offer such opportunities due to limited chances offered to the qualified personnel within the above age group. Besides, the participants who were for this opinion were only of the age brackets, twenty to twenty-nine years, which implies that the other participants may not be of this opinion.


With this outcome, the participants are uncertain about the complexities associated with working with the organic apparel. For example, some participants argue that handwashing would create discomfort for working women if machine wash was not available. Besides, they are concerned that the material will look inept if not starched during every wash. With skepticism, the user of this research will not be in a good position to figure out the consumers stand on the organic apparel that is whether to produce it or not.

The different kinds of responses from the participants make the objective of this research not to be fully realized.


Palys, T., 2008. Purposive sampling. The Sage encyclopedia of qualitative research methods, 2(1),      pp.697-8.

Tongco, M.D.C., 2007. Purposive sampling as a tool for informant selection. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 5, pp.147-158.