n Journal of Contemporary Management - Towards an understanding of the influences on attitude towards green cosmetics in South Africa




The interest in green products and services is mounting. Recently, much attention in the political, economic and social spheres has focused on protection of the environment, sustainability and clean living. This exploratory study aims to better define what affects consumer attitudes towards green cosmetics; in particular whether the emotional aspect of green consumption drives consumers or whether they actually prefer green brands for their functional benefits. The analysis found that respondents were somewhat familiar with green cosmetics (as opposed to very familiar), but found that the perception of quality was largely on par with non-green cosmetics. Age and income were found to be differentiators with respect to product knowledge, whereas the presence of children had little effect. The affective component of the decision process was found to dominate, outweighing the cognitive component. Lastly, confusion apropos the credentials of green cosmetics was found to exist, with a significant number of respondents highlighting their inability to adequately distinguish between green and non-green cosmetic brands. The study recommends that retailers adjust their packaging to subtly, but clearly, reflect their green status and also consider an affiliation with an appropriate green initiative to reinforce this notion.


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