As technology continues to advance, transparency of companies’ supply chains have increased in importance. With this advance in technology comes controversial methods of cotton production, including Genetically Engineered (GE) cotton, as well as improvements in sustainability through the growth of organic cotton. Awareness of the social and environmental effects of genetically engineered cotton is a crucial component in the consumer’s purchasing process. This study plans to analyze consumer awareness of the type of cotton used, GE or organic cotton, and whether or not it effects their desire to purchase a specific product or from a certain brand. We will use a survey method to gather data and opinions in regards to consumer purchasing habits. In order to gather this data, college students aged 18-22 who are newly responsible for their clothing purchasing decisions will be surveyed. Questions will pertain to their awareness and knowledge of GE cotton and other sustainable initiatives occurring in the cotton industry. The results of this study are expected to show that there is low consumer awareness of GE cotton and its negative social and environmental effects, but when these impacts are brought to the consumers attention, they are less likely to purchase GE cotton products. However, the study predicts the average consumer is aware of the use of organic cotton and they are more likely to purchase products that promote the use of organic cotton over other sustainable fibers. This research will be completed with the end goal of educating consumers on the differences between GE and organic cotton as well as the positive and negative attributes that contribute to social and environmental impacts. Subsequently, conducting this research study will provide substantial insight on the cotton industry, increase consumer awareness, and educate buyers in hopes of leading them to make more conscious purchasing decisions.
This study plans to analyze consumer awareness of the type of cotton used, GE or organic cotton, and whether or not it effects their desire to purchase a specific product or from a certain brand. We will use a survey method to gather data and opinions in regards to consumer purchasing habits.