American and Korean Youths’ Attachment to Handcraft Apparel and Its Relation to Sustainability

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Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, ISSN: 0887-302X, Vol: 35, Issue: 2, Page: 67-80

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Yoon Kyung Lee, Marilyn DeLong
SAGE Publications
Business, Management and Accounting, Materials Science
article description
This research explored teenagers’ use of handcraft apparel in the United States and South Korea. Teenagers were selected for a cross national comparison of youth and their emotional attachment to handcraft apparel in terms of: use of handcraft items compared with purchased products; the relationship between the craft user and creator; and the influence of emotional attachment to handcrafts on the friendship and self-esteem of youths. Responses of US and Korean high school and middle school students acknowledged the value of handcrafts. Handcraft items offer a measure of sustainability not offered by clothing destined for the fast-fashion cycle. Items handcrafted by friends and family have considerable value as objects of everyone design as well as emotional value. In this study, we also conclude that the value of handcraft apparel and crafts in everyday creativity may have a positive influence on peer relationships and self-esteem among youth in the two countries. Comparing the two youth groups in this study, we found that US teenagers have a greater tendency to use handcrafted items compared with their Korean counterparts that may be attributed to the wider popularity of handcrafting in US society. US participants reported a significantly longer period of actual use of handcraft items. Although handcraft items are increasingly overlooked in favor of mass-produced fashion products, handcraft apparel can be expected to endure as an alternative product with recognized sustainability, given the perceived importance of handmade craft and apparel made by loved ones.

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