Semester of Graduation

May 2023


Master of Science (MS)


Textiles, Apparel Design, and Merchandising

Document Type



The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a change to standard consumption patterns as consumers began prioritizing health and wellness, working remotely, and made a switch from material-based consumption practices to an experiential-value-based consumption mindset. Additionally, Covid-19 brought economic downturns, loss of jobs, and supply chain issues. Consequently, the activewear market demonstrated unclear results making it necessary to understand trends within the activewear market while also understanding consumer motivations to wear or not to wear activewear during these societal shifts. This research paper aims it’s focus on female members of Generation Y, a popular and growing market for activewear. In understanding these societal shifts within Generation Y females, the research paper used the Means End Chain (MEC) model, which uses a qualitative soft-laddering interview approach. It was found the top two concrete attributes were stretchability and shaping/supportive properties. The top two abstract attributes were quality fabric and style. Four top functional consequences were identified: task facilitation, ease of use/transitional, physical comfort and physical appearance. The top two psycho-social consequences were feeling motivated and social relationship. And the top value was empowerment. These findings were then applied to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It was found identified attributes, consequences, and values are directly applicable to every hierarchical level (physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization) demonstrated within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We can conclude the consumption and wearing of activewear will continue to be a constant trend within our society as consumers are able to meet every hierarchical level through the consumption of activewear.



Committee Chair

Liu, Chuanlan