Fashioning clothing with and for mature women: a small-scale sustainable design business model

Townsend, K. ORCID: 0000-0003-2212-2511, Kent, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-9741-4335 and Sadkowska, A., 2019. Fashioning clothing with and for mature women: a small-scale sustainable design business model. Management Decision, 57 (1), pp. 3-20. ISSN 0025-1747

11270_Kent.pdf - Post-print

Download (1MB) | Preview


Purpose: An ageing population in the developed world has become a significant topic in the contemporary research agenda. The aim of this paper is to report on the development of a new small-scale business model based on facilitating in-depth understanding and responding to mature female consumers' needs and expectations towards fashionable clothing.

Design/methodology: Two complementary approaches are used: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) allows the researchers to employ the life-course perspective and to develop in-depth understanding of individuals' present experiences in relation to their past. Action Research offers the possibility to develop participatory, co-design processes based on collective creativity and mutual knowledge exchange between the stakeholders.
Findings: The research finds a strong interest in fashionable clothing by women, irrespective of their age. The action based co-design process involving collaborative encounters with mature consumers creates a dynamic capability for alternative fashion design methodologies. This approach can contribute to a small-scale fashion business model for the mature women's fashion market.

Practical implications: The women in the study stress the need for a more inclusive design process and expressed a willingness to buy from a brand/retailer who would offer them such a collaborative opportunity. There are practical implications for how a more flexible sizing approach to the design of fashion for older women could be implemented.

Originality/value: This research makes a contribution to practice-based design solutions for mature women and a new inclusive business model based on emotional durability. The innovative methodological approach contributes to the field of ethical and sustainable fashion design.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Management Decision
Creators: Townsend, K., Kent, A. and Sadkowska, A.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 2019
Volume: 57
Number: 1
ISSN: 0025-1747
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 04 Jun 2018 13:51
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:14

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year