This study explores the effect of moral identity on attitude toward and purchase intention of upcycled fashion products by comparing purchasers and non-purchasers. Data from 127 purchasers and 307 non-purchasers collected through a survey was analyzed using descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis, model invariance check, and multiple-group comparison tests using Amos 23.0. Results indicate consumers with purchase experiences of upcycled fashion products showed a higher level of moral identity (internalization and symbolization), positive attitude toward upcycled fashion products, and purchase intention than did consumers with no purchase experience. In model tests, internalization affected attitude toward purchasing upcycled fashion products, whereas symbolization affected purchase intention, regardless of purchase experience. The effect of symbolization on purchase intention was consistent with prior studies focusing on charity behaviors that are highly visible to others. These findings demonstrate that fashion products are visible and symbolic, so it should be carefully considered in ethical consumption studies. From these results, researchers may obtain insights on the process of how consumers apply moral identity to their purchase intention regarding upcycled fashion products. Likewise, marketers may enhance satisfaction of consumers with a high level of symbolization by putting special tags and logos that clearly highlight the products’ upcycled nature.


upcycle, purchase experience, moral identity, internalization, symbolization