Purchase and Disposal Behavior of the Dhaka City Residents

Study on the Clothing Purchase and Disposal Behavior of the Dhaka City Residents and Its Impact on Environment
Md. Mobinur Rahman, Md. Tarequl Islam Ansary, A.S.M.Nasim Akhter Riman, and Md. Salman Habib Sarker
Department of Textile Engineering Management (Batch-43), Bangladesh University of Textiles, Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh


Purchase and disposal behavior of the people of different ages, genders, educational levels and social stratum and the effect of these behavior results towards the environment and human health. This study indicates the factors effecting the purchase behavior of people residing in Dhaka city. The survey consists of questionnaire survey and in person interview to evaluate and reach the desired goals of the survey. The respondents were asked about the driving force behind their purchasing and disposing behavior, their concern towards environment, the impacts that are shown towards them because of environment pollution.

The 1st phase of the data shows about the demographics and the factor driving the behavior. It shows what people’s mindset towards environment are. The 2nd part of the data shows the impact of the dumping zone toward people and environment. Here, the concern towards people’s health and environment is highly emphasized. This study shows the relation of people’s behavior and environment’s impact as the outcome of the behavior. The solution to the problem can be identified as the maximum usage of recycle and reuse.

Furthermore, the outcome shows that with proper initiative, the impact of health hazard and environment pollution can be lessened with proper disposal channel. The study addressed the gap for further study in learning the means of effective disposal. Research identifies that sustainable disposal and waste minimization can be further researched at large.


Research objectives is the backbone of completing a research survey. Before starting a research project, the objective of the project must be defined. For defining the objectives, one must have clear idea about what is the goal to be achieved. Here the main target of the project was to find out what people tend to do while purchasing or disposing and what outcome these brings to the environment.

The main objective of this research is to investigate the clothing purchase and disposal behavior of the residents of Dhaka city and assess the environmental impairment activated due to the unsustainable clothing disposal. The general objectives can be said as the associated data and ideas that comes with these behavior. Our specific aim is to find out the ascribing causes to this environmental vandalization.

  • Factors that influence the clothing purchase of Dhaka city residents.
  • Factors influencing the disposal behavior of Dhaka city residents.
  • Ways of clothing disposal by the Dhaka city residents.
  • The environmental impacts of clothing disposal.
  • Health and hygiene status of the people residing beside the open landfills in Dhaka.
Purchase and disposal behavior
Clothing disposal to society and polluting the environment


Bangladesh has marked its feet to many developments and downfalls simultaneously and being a mostly densely populated country is one of many downgrades. The capital of the country Dhaka has a milling crowd in every place. Today we are concerned about the environmental tumbledown and ruination that had been breathing on our neck for ages. We are only considering the capital of our country to have a narrow overview of this pervasive problem. This disposal of clothes onto the environment wreaks a countless tragedy over the environment and as well as the climate.

The non-degradable materials that build the clothing constituents are precarious to the environment. Many health problems arise due to the waste exposure in the open sites. Normally till today solid waste disposal is done in open dumping yards and no matter how convenient waste management system we incorporate in, it still ends up in a large dumping ground [1]. By this unconsidered endeavor of purchasing, various health issues surface.

People who live nearby the dumpsters are found to be susceptible to many water and airborne contagions as these non-degrading materials dry up in summer time and mixes with air.  These minuscule particles get in the air and causes respiratory problems, asthma, and tuberculosis commonly and in the worse scenario cancer can nest in the body unknowingly due to this. From many relevant studies it has been fathomed that the nearby people to the dump yards are affected insidiously and viciously [2]. The latest generation is more exhorted in pursuing vogue in response to many factors [3].

Many impulses are fueling the passion in their mind to buy more clothes which has boosted the chunk of waste in an unrestrained magnitude [4]. This specific paramount issue has caught less attention to the thinking minds and hence more studies are required to be conducted to comprehend the consumer psychology of purchasing, using & dumping of clothes.

This unconsidered & ignorant behavior of clothing disposal is creating an everlasting damage to the environment which will question our possibility of living in a friendly environment. One of the reasons is fast fashion which manipulates the young generation to remain in fashion and buy more clothes which engender more disposal [5].People are more interested in throwing up the old clothes to make space for the new clothes in their closets.

Every piece of cloth has got a temporal spanning of usage as the recent cult of fashion has made such impression in consumers mind to be up for change and remain up to date [6]. This intensive buying of clothes has led not only to the health impairment of the people but also aggravated the environmental balance. The waste engendered produces methane gas which is a GHG and that leeches the ozone layer supporting the ice decaying and rising the sea level. So, in a subservient manner the clothing waste also playing a part in environmental demolition [2].

So, we are having a zoomed in vision for assorting all the causes by creating many factors of influence to the problem. Such as the age group or social class group who are disposing of more clothes and the reasons which make them do that and why they are benighted of this environmental concern [7].

Background Studies 

The prompt economic and population growth of Bangladesh, coupled with rapid urbanization has seen the country progress greatly since its independence in 1971 [8]. Despite striding forward in health, education and quality of life, the people of Bangladesh are still facing great development challenges in other areas, such as waste management and sanitation.

An increasingly urban population means that Bangladesh is now generating more municipal solid waste in its urban areas than ever before. The solid waste includes elements like paper, carton, metal, plastics, Pet Bottles, e-waste, clothing etc. which are discharged to various landfills sites.  Waste management in Bangladesh faces many challenges due to its large, rapidly growing population in a densely populated country.

Bangladesh is the ninth most populous and twelfth most densely populated country in the world [9]. In particular, the projected urban population growth rate from 2010 to 2015 is 3% and with this population growth, there is an increasing problem of waste management particularly in the larger cities. Currently, according to an UNFPA report, Dhaka is one of the most polluted cities in the world and one of the issues concerned is the management of municipal waste. Current (2012) waste generation in Bangladesh is around 22.4 million tons per year or 150 kg/cap/year.

There is an increasing rate of waste generation in Bangladesh and it is projected to reach 47, 064 tons per day by 2025. The rate of waste generation is expected to increase to 220 kg/cap/year in 2025 [10]. A significant percentage of the population has zero access to proper waste disposal services, which will in effect lead to the problem of waste mismanagement. The total waste collection rate in major cities of Bangladesh such as Dhaka is only 37% [11].

Ready-made garment industry is one of the predominant reasons for the rapid economic growth of Bangladesh and its urbanization. Almost 80% of Bangladesh’s total export earnings come from this sector in the fiscal year 2020-21 [12]. As a second largest RMG exporter in the world the people of this country have access to abundant clothing with low price and that directs to the inconsiderate consumption and exposure of the waste to landfills [13].

In Bangladesh more than 30% of the population is young and they are fascinated about the fashion trend than any other group [14]. Fast fashion & low prices have gained popularity among the young generation & this prospect has led to consumers purchasing and disposing of ever-larger quantities of clothing. The trend towards disposable ‘fast’ fashion meant the amount of discarded material had increased sharply in recent years [15].

The speed at which garments are produced also means that more and more clothes are disposed of by consumers, creating a huge amount of textile waste. In Australia alone, more than 500 million kilos of unwanted clothing end up in landfill every year [3]. According to the WEF, 85% of the used clothes go into the landfill each year, which either burns or contributes to landfills [16].

This kind of discarded materials are affecting our environment very badly. Low-quality dresses aimed at young people are said to be made by workers on illegally low wages and are discarded almost instantly, causing mountains of non-recycled waste to pile up [17]. Garments and clothing are less efficient and less sustainable due to product characteristics such as performance or feature, and due to the chemicals and dyes used this unsustainable clothing disposal behavior causes severe destructive effects on our global environment.

Which emits methane gas to the air, and leachate water in environment due to open landfill [18]. Sooner than later, investment into recuperating the existing municipal solid waste management systems is requisite so as allow for the sustainable growth of Bangladesh without compromising the livability of its urban areas.

Literature review 

Worldwide Clothing purchase behavior:

Clothing is considered as one of the most essential items used by individuals in addressing their psychological needs such as appearance, social status, and self-esteem [19]. Price has been a common factor in influencing consumers’ purchase decision-making and choice of products and services [20]. Basic needs and income (29.8%, and 23.9%) were found to have the most influences on consumer buying decision process among economic factors and Age was found to have overwhelming influences on buying decision process [21].


In 2017, according to Euromonitor international, China purchased 40 billion clothing, USA 17 billion, India 6 billion, Japan 3.3 billion, Brazil 2.3 billion, Germany 2.2 billion, UK 2.1 billion, Russia 2 billion, Italy 1.5 billion, France 1.3 billion and rest of the world purchased 26 billion units [22]. US denizens are found to be the most interested segment of people to buy clothes. Usually they buy one mid-priced cloth in a week [23].

Equating the UK citizens to the US which has a similar GDP as the US buy 20 fewer garments per year but spend 70% more per garment. The Japanese buy half of the amount than the US citizens but spend 31% more per item. Though China has a hefty population, they spend a quarter of the amount than the US purchaser and end up having 23 fewer garments in contrast [24].

Consumers whose ages range from 26-39 year mostly frequently and arbitrarily buy branded clothes as they are mostly job holders, graduate students and their needs are frequent and instinctive [25]. It is concluded that family income triggers consumers in such a way that consumers purchase frequency increases with the smoothing of family income.

Clothing purchase behaviour in Bangladesh:

The fashion industry is recently becoming a prominent and rapid growing industry in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh [26]. Several factories and outlets are attracting consumers with their quality product influencing the purchasing behaviour. Consumers purchasing behaviour in Bangladesh has changed dramatically in the past few years. Consumers are well informed and have more choices about how they spend their money than ever before.

They want experiences and products that satisfy their deepest emotional needs, sold to them in the most innovative ways [27]. The dissimilar and competitive complexion of the Bangladeshi market has huge impact on consumers purchasing behavior, and with the continuous development in fashion designs.

In addition, the manufacturers involved in this sector have their own take on what is trendy and fashionable at any given moment; according to colors, style, fads, popular culture, design theme, emerging trends, seasonality, etc. Bangladeshi consumers with unparalleled opportunities to pick and choose across different brands and to combine them in order to satisfy their increasing need for expressing their individuality and to create their own style [28].

Brand has significant role on consumer buying behavior in fashion cloth. It is crystal clear that brand attitude, brand status, willingness to pay premium, self-concept and reference group have substantial relation with consumer involvement in fashion cloth, study also justified the brand can influence in buying behavior on fashion clothing has 52% [28].

People in our country buy 36.5% local brands and 31% branded clothes. (Considering 200 people as a sample.) Branded clothes purchasing appeared 43% in eclectic occasions [29]. The age group of 26-39 seems to buy more clothes than the aged and the children [25]. Salary and financial stability influence the purchasing behavior enormously in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the frequency of purchasing branded clothes has appeared more on different occasions (43%) and most of the time (45.5%) rather than always purchasing branded clothes in Dhaka [29].

Clothing disposal:

In recent times people are willing to be up to the minute about everything. Being fashionable with the latest outfits is contagious nowadays. Disposable fashion means the practice of wearing a cloth a few times before disposing of it [30]. EPA estimated that the generation of textiles in 2018 was 17 million tons. This figure represents 5.8 percent of total MSW generation that year. Generation estimates for clothing.

The total amount of textiles in MSW combusted in 2018 was 3.2 million tons. This was 9.3 percent of MSW combusted with energy recovery [31]. Landfills received 11.3 million tons of MSW textiles in 2018. This was 7.7 percent of all MSW landfilled [32]. These statements shout out loud the harm that the earth has endured for our mistreatment and ignorance.

Also, information floating around us such as in the UK between 2001 to 2005 consumer spending on clothes escalated by 21% for women’s and 14% for men’s garment. To have more precise information, between 2000 and 2015, clothing production doubled [33]. Another study states that between 1975 and 2018, global per-capita textile production increased from 5.9 kg per person to 13kg per person.

Globally, we consume 62 million tons of textiles per year. By 2030, this is expected to reach 102 million tones. This phenomenon surfaced more as the price of the clothes dwindled 14% and therefore a huge jump up for the total sale volume was a surefire outcome [34]. According to Ha-Brookshire and Hodges, an individual disposes of about 30 kg of clothes annually.

The University of Cambridge divulged that the total waste of clothing and textiles in the UK reached 2.35 million tons. Out of this cumbersome chunk of clothes only 26% got incinerated and recouped by the recovery process but the rest 74% went off to landfill [33]. In the UK the legislative framework was altered and textile was added in 2008 in the legislative directive 2008/98/EC on waste.

And according to policy, 50% of the total household textiles should be recycled by the year 2020 [4]. With this aim in mind, new amends can be undertaken such as introducing specific bins or dumpster for the textile waste so as to make a convenient approach in discerning the textile waste from other waste to help process a systematic efficient handling of the waste for curtailing environmental demolition.

Disposal in Bangladesh:

Bangladesh is a textile producing giant we can humbly admit and pride on. The RMG export is of paramount importance to us for the solvency in the economy. We earn 80% foreign currency pivoting on it [12]. Therefore, we contribute a lot in the continuous process of garment production. If thought deeply these economic benefits are threatening the environment implicitly.

Because the huge chunk of waste from textiles is not processable to efficient elimination. Researchers say we produce almost 18-20 crores of garments in which the lion portion are T-shirts, shirts and pants. These are exported to all over the world starting from Europe to many other adjacent countries too.

Presently there are 4500 active garment units that are running at full stretch to meet up the huge demands from different corners of the world and the local [35]. It is to be noted that the process subsumes a lot of sub processes where continuous waste management is implausible.

So waste is ineluctable but only can be reduced. Everyday more than 11.2k tons of knit fabric solid waste is produced in Bangladesh. It’s presumed to be 43k tons soon and a modicum portion of it is handled with efficiency. But still 60-70% of knit generated waste is forced to dump on the environment.

Bangladesh is expected to produce an estimated 200 tons of textile waste per month by the end of 2021, which the study, Circular Fashion Partnership by Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), called a significant achievement in the context of the global pandemic. Its research has found that in 2019, Bangladesh produced approximately 577,000 tons of waste just from the ready-made garments (RMG) and fabrics mills of which almost half (250 thousand tons) was 100% pure cotton waste.

It is estimated that factories in Bangladesh could sell this 100% cotton waste to the recycling market for up to 100 million USD. In spite of the industrial legislation, the proper treatment of waste materials is still unachievable [36]. According to a 2002 study, the garment industry has a desideratum of 3.155 km of disposal pipeline or ground. The industry has 40% waste minimization capability.

The remaining 60% is left to be exposed to the environment [5]. Not only the aftermath of the garment production has a disastrous effect on surroundings but the initiation has too. Like cotton requires gallons of water and substantial pesticide to grow better which pollutes the ground and groundwater. Effective and efficient management and implementation of environment friendly measures are to be executed to draw minimum hazards over the environment.

Clothing disposal behaviour:

Consumers dispose of clothing for a number of reasons which includes poor fit, outdated style, change in physical appearance etc [37]. To dispose the unwanted clothes, consumers have several options: discard, donate, reuse, trade or sell [38]. In a study college students were interviewed and identified eight clothing disposal motivations and linked each to specific clothing disposal behaviors:

(1) economically motivated resale;

(2) environmentally motivated resale;

(3) charity-motivated donation;

(4) environmentally motivated donation;

(5) economically oriented reuse;

(6) environmentally motivated reuse;

(7) convenience-oriented discarding; and

(8) unawareness-based discarding [39].

Koch and Domina found that donation to non-profit organizations and passing on to family and friends are common options for clothing disposal. In their study, respondents indicated that the most frequently used charities for clothing items were the Salvation Army and Goodwill [37].

Fast fashion:

Fast fashion is defined as cheap, trendy clothing that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand. People like to be snazzy in appearance and charm others with elegance. It’s an intrinsic nature of us but sometimes circumscribed. In the 1960s to 70s fast fashion came to the spotlight and is still invading generations after generations.

The celebrities, fashion shows, fashion journals are buzzing with the new trends and styles that are predominant in times. Fast fashion is introducing more types and features of clothes from time to time. It’s contagious to people as they like to adopt what’s new. The key part of this chunk of waste generated due to clothing can be assigned to this reason the most.

Brands are developing those unique styles in bulk quantity but with lower quality so as to reach every walk of people in society. They have lowered the prices too for the convenience of the consumers. These brands are always in a haste to manufacture the latest fashion and importune people subtly. The overconsumption of clothes due to fast fashion is subduing the environment incessantly and insinuatingly [40].

Clothing disposal in landfills in Bangladesh:

A landfill site, also known as a tip, dump, rubbish dump, garbage dump, or dumping ground, is a site for the disposal of waste materials [41]. Some landfill sites are also used for waste management purposes, such as temporary storage, consolidation and transfer, or for various stages of processing waste material, such as sorting, treatment, or recycling [42].

Landfills in most countries including in Bangladesh contribute to methane emissions which escalates climate change. The Matuail Sanitary Landfill releases methane emissions equivalent to 190,000 cars [43]. Matuail landfill, located about eight kilometers from Gulistan in the south of Dhaka, is one of two landfills serving Dhaka city. Spanning over 100 acres, the site is used by the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) to dispose of its municipal solid waste [44].

Another one located in Amin bazar. Amin bazar landfill occupies 52 acres, but unbridled disposal of waste from the capital city has been polluting air, water and lands of the two villages in the worst possible manner [45]. Increasing volumes of textiles are being engendered, purchased and disposed of in landfill sites, which has a draconian impact over the environment. 

Disposed clothes or post-consumer textile waste consist of the textile products that are disposed of as the owner no longer desires it [46]. Contaminated with other wastes it is rendered unusable and destined for landfill (open dumping) or incineration [47]. Perpetuating lack of public engagement in a circular economy of textiles. The augmentation in fashion purchasing has led to a new phenomenon of disposing of garments which may only have been worn a few times [48].

Indeed, the current rapid changes in fashion and low prices for new clothing have soared the rate of disposal of unwanted clothing [49]. According to the World Resources Institute, it takes 2,700 litres of water to produce one cotton shirt [7]. Textiles can take up to 200+ years to degrade in landfills [50]. Use of synthetic fibres in clothes prolonged the decomposition process of textiles as compared to natural fibres [51].

Polyester is a synthetic fibre and is menacing for the environment because it can neither be repurposed nor bio-degraded [52]. It was found that decomposed clothes release methane which is a harmful greenhouse gas that leads to global warming. Clothes contain dyes and chemicals that can leach into the surface thereby adulterating groundwater [53].

Use of clothing made from man-made fibre involves the usage of chemicals that can cause illnesses like cancer, hormonal dysfunction, behavioral problems as well as immunity deficiency and when these ends up in water bodies, it can pollute water bodies as well as kill marine life. This directly impacts animals as well as human beings who reside in the region [54]. Leachate which is produced from the decomposition of solid waste causes allergy, foul odor (vomiting, nausea, damage to olfactory nerve, headache), asthma, dermatologic disorder, cancer, etc. [2].


The exploratory research contains 2 phases; first phase investigated clothing purchase and disposal behavior of the Dhaka city residents and the 2nd phase investigated the health hazards of the people working and residing beside the landfills arising from directly dumping the clothes in landfills. By conducting the qualitative research in Dhaka, we tried to discover the factors behind the frequent purchasing and disposal of cloths by its residents.

Study Area:

For the first phase the study area was Dhaka, which is commonly known as the capital city of Bangladesh. It was selected since more than 12% of the country’s total population live in Dhaka and it is one of the rapidly growing cities. For the second phase the area of study was the Matuil landfill site, 8 km away from the center of the south of Dhaka city. The matuail landfill is a 100 acres area that serve as the disposal site for solid waste from areas under DSCC (Dhaka South City Corporation). And more that 60% of total wastes generated daily in this capital are disposed here.

Sample size:

The study was conducted among the Dhaka city residents and the people residing beside the Matuil landfill. Sample size has been estimated by using the following formula, n=Z2pq/d2, whereas n is the desired sample size, p is the proportion of any criteria, q is the (1-p), Z is the standard normal deviate which corresponds to 95% confidence level (1.96) and d is the degree of accuracy desired, usually set as 0.05 at 95% confidence level. Considering the population proportion 50% and the population size of Dhaka city 2.2 crores, the estimated sample size is 385 for this study.

And we have collected 401 responses from the Dhaka city residents. 50 respondents participated in the 2nd survey who were worker and residents around the landfills. The workers are mostly ‘Tokai’ which means the person (specifically children) who collect garbage (plastic material, Glasses, Iron etc.) from different places and sell this. In this phase a smaller number of respondents resulting from less worker and residents in the vicinity due to foul odour and hazardous conditions.

Data Collection:

Here the data collection was done through the usage of two separate questionnaire. The main data type that was used in the survey was qualitative data, but the usage of quantitative data was also present in working with data. The first questionnaire consisted of demographic data. This questionnaire was used to determine the purchase behavior as well as the disposal behavior of people of different ages, stratum and educational levels. These questionnaire was mainly used to collect data through social media and directly from the residents of Dhaka city.

The media that were mainly used were the Facebook and email. The ratio of respondents for social media and mail can be said as 70:30. The second questionnaire was built with a look to take out information through interview. Here about 50 people were interviewed to get the desired data. The sample that were taken to interview were the residents residing near a landfill. While collecting data, it was taken direct connection with sample and data was collected.

Independent variables:

Age, gender, economic stratum, education etc.

Dependent variables:

Purchasing behavior, disposal behavior, health hazards (asthma, cancer and dermatological disorder).

Data processing and statistical analyses:

After collection of data through questionnaire, the data were checked for appropriateness and logical checking. While making sure all the collected data were cleaned for further use then they were used for the next processes. The demographic charts were found with the use of SPSS software. Here the processed data was converted in a table with the demographic means. Again Microsoft Excel was used for pie chart and other tables that were used for the study.

Descriptive statistics or univariate analysis were done for all the variables and the result were expressed as number, percentage, mean and frequency.

Ethical Considerations:

  1. Ethical approval was taken from Bangladesh University of Textiles in due course of the study
  2. Informed consent (both verbal and written) was taken from each individual
  3. The purpose of the study was described properly to the respondents
  4. All the information collected from the respondents were kept confidential
  5. Data were not be used for any other purpose other than the research
  6. Participants were ensured that there were no harm or risk in participating as no invasive procedure were used
  7. Participants were free to withdraw themselves from the study at any time of data collection as well as to skip any particular question
  8. No compensation of incentive was provided to the participants for participating in the study.


Findings from Questionnaire Survey on Clothing purchase and disposal behavior:

Socio-demographic characteristics of respondents:

For the research purpose we have taken the response of 401 residents of Dhaka City. This respondent data can be classified underage, gender, education and stratum. If we define the data by age, then we will see that around 71% of the respondents are from the age class of 18-30. So, the research is done mainly with a focus on the young generation. Again, 12% of the respondents are from 31-50 age class and about 4% of the people are from 50+ age class. There is a small number of respondents as such as 1% is from the younger age class of 0-17 years old.

Table 1. Analysis of the age group of the respondents.
Class Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
9 2.20 2.20 2.20
0-17 15 3.70 3.70 5.90
18-30 284 69.30 69.30 75.10
31-50 50 12.20 12.20 87.30
50+ 52 12.70 12.70 100.00
Total 410 100.00 100.00

When coming to the gender, we see that most of the respondents are woman. If we take the percentage, it can be said that 53% of the respondents were woman. The rest of the respondents like 47% were male. So, the ratio is about same for both male and female.

Table 2. Analysis of the gender of the respondents.
Gender Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
9 2.20 2.20 2.20
Female 213 52 52 54.1
Male 188 45.9 45.9 100.00
Total 410 100.00 100.00

After that, we come to the level of education for the respondents. There were respondents from all levels of education starting from the primary level to Ph.D. level. So, if we come from the very bottom of the list, around 1% of the respondents were from the primary level and grew with passage of level. In case of Secondary level, 8% of respondents were from secondary level. As we were targeting the young generation mostly, so most of the respondents were from Bachelor’s and Master’s degree numbering 51.1% and 18.5% individually. Again, 6% of respondents were from diploma level and about 0.5% of the respondents were from Ph.D. level.

Table 3. Analysis of the educational qualification of the respondents.
Education Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
9 2.20 2.20 2.20
Bachelor 205 50 50 52.2
Diploma 24 5.9 5.9 58.0
Higher studies 60 14.6 14.6 72.7
Masters 74 18 18 90.7
PhD 2 0.5 0.5 91.2
Primary 4 1.0 1.0 92.2
Secondary 32 7.8 7.8 100.00
Total 410 100.0 100.0

Now coming to the stratum, there were respondents from lower class to upper class. About 1.5% respondents were from lower class and 2.7% of them were from upper class. So, most of the respondents reside around the middle class or near around middle class. About 60% of the respondents were from middle class. Coming to the rest of the respondents, 18.7% were from lower middle class and 17.2% of total respondents were the upper middle-class people. So, the collected data show the view of people from all walks of the society.

Table 4. Analysis of the economic stratum of the respondents.
Class Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
9 2.20 2.20 2.20
Lower class 6 1.5 1.5 3.7
Lower middle class 75 18.3 18.3 22.0
Middle class 240 58.5 58.5 80.5
Upper class 11 2.7 2.7 83.2
Upper middle class 69 16.8 16.8 100.0
Total 410 100.0 100.0
Table 5. No of clothing purchased and disposed off by different age groups 
Age Amount of cloths bought No of people Percent Amount of cloths disposed off No of people Percentage
0-17 0-10 7 3.75% 0-10 11 3.75%
10-15 4 10-15 2
15-20 3 15-20 1
20+ 1 20+ 1
18-30 0-10 166 70.82% 0-10 220 70.82%
10-15 68 10-15 41
15-20 29 15-20 14
20+ 21 20+ 9
31-50 0-10 20 12.46% 0-10 34 12.46%
10-15 20 10-15 12
15-20 10 15-20 4
20+ 0 20+ 0
50+ 0-10 23 12.97% 0-10 40 12.97%
10-15 26 10-15 10
15-20 2 15-20 2
20+ 1 20+ 0


Fast fashion vs necessity- what affects people decision most:

While collecting data from the respondents, we asked them about the factors that influences their purchasing behaviour. In between the respondent, maximum people said that they tend to purchase new cloths when they feel the necessity of buying it. A good number of respondents are influenced by the social media and fast-moving fashion. A little amount of people gets influenced by peer pressure. So, from the collected data we can say that necessity is the main driving force of people’s cloth purchase behavior.

Factors influencing cloth purchase behaviour
Figure 1. Factors influencing cloth purchase behavior

Financial power effecting purchase behavior:

While collecting data, respondents were asked if they think financial factors influence peoples purchasing behavior or not. In between the respondents 57.6% agrees that financial factors affect the purchasing behavior of the people. About 9% of the respondents disagrees with the statement. So, with the majority of opinion from respondents, we can definitely say that the financial ability of people effects their purchasing decisions.

Financial factor affecting purchasing behaviour
Figure 2. Financial factor affecting purchasing behavior 

Again, the respondents were asked about the recycling of clothing. As people tend to dump the cloth after it wears out. But there was option to recycle the cloths. As there is option to recycle and young generation are said to be the most careful ones, so we asked them if they knew about the recycle process where 59% of them answered in the affirmative and 13.7% of them replied in the negative.

Recycling used clothes
Figure 3. Recycling used clothes


But on the contrary, they are the one that does not want to use the recycled cloth. Around 41.8% of the respondents will not use the used cloths. 36.6% of the respondents will use the used clothes and 21.6% of them were not sure what to do.

Wearing the used clothes
Figure 4. Wearing the used clothes

After that we wanted their opinion on the environment. They tend to know that disposed cloths ruin the environment. About 55.4% of the people know that disposed clothes ruin the environment and 18.2% people said that they don’t know about the ruination of the environment. The rest of the respondents were not sure about what that was.

Impact of disposed clothes on environment
Figure 5. Impact of disposed clothes on environment


At the end of the questionnaire, we threw some questions to the respondents. Some of the answers are quoted below:
Question-1: How clothing disposal affects the environment?

Answer-1: “The disposed clothes ultimately end up in landfills. Where they are burnt releases enormous amount of methane and carbon dioxide which are green-house gasses.”

Answer-2: “More demand of new cloth makes the supply and use of industrial machines more causing more pollution.”

Answer-3: “It causes soil, water pollution. Moreover, many times people throw out disposed cloths here & there which cause various problems in our daily life Ex: Drainage problem.”

Answer-4: “Most clothing contains microplastic or plastic threads which take millenniums to turn completely into the soil. A recent study suggests that the presence of microplastic in the human body can be related to the clothes we use because in most developed countries there is a process of recycling household waters into drinking water and undoubtedly the process cannot eliminate all the microplastic.”

Question-2: What efforts should be taken to enhance awareness about reusing disposed clothes?

Answer-1: “We can give them to Youngers, poor also can make part of house chores. We can use them to clean home, furniture, shoe etc. We can make carpet or crafting with our cloths.”

Answer-2: “I mostly shop from second-hand thrift stores and often sell my unused clothes there. It’s economical and environmentally friendly and you never need to be worried about being out fashioned or getting out of space in your closet.”

Answer-3: “1. Increase the number of times you wear your clothes. 2. Repair your existing clothes. 3. Look after clothes. 4 Buy quality over quantity.5 Buy clothes made out of eco-friendly materials. 6. Donate.”

Answer-4: “Organizations can be created for collecting old, used clothes. Workshop can be arranged on how to reuse disposed clothes.”


Findings from Questionnaire Survey on Health Condition:

Socio-demographic characteristics of respondents:

Gender of the respondents
Figure 6. Gender of the respondents


Age of the respondents.
Figure 7. Age of the respondents.


Among the 50 participants in the questionnaire survey on the health condition analysis 72% of them was male and 28% of them are female belonging to different age groups. 21 participants among them are people residing beside the Matuil landfill and 29 are garbage collectors in the landfills who are mostly children encompassing 26% of the total sample population. Due to the harsh environmental condition and intense odor, we found a small portion of people living in the vicinity.

Respondents having health issues:

Among the 21 residents 17 of them were having health issues which is approximately 81% of the number of residents. Among the 29 workers 21 of them were having health issues 72% of the total number of workers.

Impact of disposed of garments on human health
Figure 8. Worker vs Residents health issues.

Common health issues among the respondents:

Common health issues among the respondents
Figure 9. Common health issues among the respondents.

We have found some common health issues among the workers and residents who participated in the survey. We have found 7 cases of breathing problem, 11 cases of diarrhea, 15 cases of dermatological disorder which is the most among the health issues, 7 case of headache, and 2 case of cancer. Use of clothing made from man-made fibre involves the usage of chemicals that can cause illnesses like cancer, hormonal dysfunction, immunity deficiency and when these ends up in water bodies, it can pollute water bodies as well as kill marine life.

Some other findings:

The findings are also collected from Questionnaire Survey. The survey shows us the families of workers suffering from some unconditional health risk like infectious diseases. Because of polluted leachate-water the ground water, surface water, soil component gets hampered that is very much risky for plants and agricultural land even for the environmental equality.

Nearest people are facing difficulties in living there due to the foul odour that is natural for any waste disposal site but in the rainy season they suffered with garbage sludge which are mixed with rainwater and speared into nearest area. Wastewater mixed with surrounding lake and canals which is dangerous for water lives and risky for fisheries.


In this paper, the cloth purchase and disposal behaviour has been discussed extensively. There are some findings that are backed up with the usage of proper data and demographic means.

1. Young generation are more in purchasing and disposing:

The young people are the one that mostly tend to purchase more cloths than people of any other age class. Young people tend to stay up-to-date and go with the flow. For the reason, the purchase behaviour of young people is affected resulting them to purchase more cloths. Again, as young generation purchase more, it results greatly to their disposal behaviour. In the survey, these age class people dispose more than any other age.

2. Necessity influences the purchase behaviour:

In the research, the data shows that the purchasing behaviour of people is mostly effected by necessity rather than any other factors. The research shows that most of the people purchase new cloth when they have the necessity of it rather than just moving on with ongoing trend.

3. Financial power plays a vital role:

The power of money is the controlling force of purchase behaviour of people. Financial capability defines how much a person can spend and how it can impact the overall purchase behaviour. Peoples perspective towards this factor can be concerning as people think that people with more money tend to change their purchasing behaviour.

4. Environmental & health hazard resulting from the behaviour:

The purchase and disposal behaviour plays a very impactful role in the environment. The disposal behaviour can result in the environment to be ruined. The lands and people near the dispose area is often affected by the waste. The behaviour of disposal is mostly responsible for the hazards and pollutions. Similar studies shows that the behaviour causes environment pollutions [40]

Solutions & Recommendations 

After briefly discussing the problem and causes associated with it, we can come to some recommendations that will be helpful in omitting the problem.

1. Increase of 3R implementation: The ongoing increase in environment pollution can be reduced if we implement 3R (Recycle, Reduce, Reuse) more. The huge amount of worn-out cloths are causing environment hazard at large. But if these worn-out cloths can be recycled for other purposes like paper making or like this then the waste will be minimized. Again, some cloths can be reused by making design or using retro collector to use the worn out cloth again. The foremost and useful solution is reduction of waste generation. If we lessen the usage by only purchasing the required amount of cloths, then it will be very helpful.

2. Setting up separate dumping zone for textile based products outside of residential area: Textile based products can be treated and recycled with proper treatment methods. So if the disposal area of textile based product is separate from normal dumping zone, then it will be easy to work with the wastages. Again, the dumping zone and landfills causes hazards to human health. So, if the dumping zone is set up near the residential area, then it will be the cause of a lot of diseases. So, the most preferable solution will be setting up a definite textile based disposal area which will be situated outside the reach of residential area.

3. Increase of awareness: This is the most important one that can help in making the environment better. If the people are making aware of the impacts that they are causing to the environment and how they can lessen it, then it will help a lot. Again, social media and other media that can reach people easily can play a huge role in making them aware of the situation. If people are made concerned about the environment, then the impacts of disposal can be reduced to null.


Limitations are the hindrance that lag the researcher from completely reaching their desired objectives. These limitations can be defined as the lack of resources or these might be lack of information channels. While this research survey was done, some limitations were present to hinder the efficiency of work. The limitations that were present can be termed as-

Lack of similar studies:

Lack of similar studies was the first and foremost limitation to limit the research to be completed in times. The lacking of similar studies result in inability to access all the researches. The availability of similar studies help in defining research gap and finding out what can be done to research out. It is also an important factor when the research is an extensive one. Similar researches help a researcher to find what to work with and which mean can be proper to find out target goal. Lack of similar studies have hold back the research work at large.


Lack of proper information:

This is another limitation that has come to knowledge the project was on full swing. The proper information can be said as the data of landfill. The disposed amount of the landfill were not recorded and as a result proper understanding of the amount of textile wastage was not possible. Another information shortage can be said as the shortage of disposal means for the residents of Dhaka city. The means of disposal are so many that all of the information cannot be covered in easy mean. So the lacking of proper information caused the research work to be taken aback.



In this study the purchasing behaviour of the people of different social classes, educational backgrounds, ages have been subsumed. Again, the disposal behavior and its vile impact towards the environment has been expounded. The disposal action had a consorting crucial issue which is health hazards of the people living around the dumping sites. In the study the correlation between the ages and purchasing desires have been made to know which age group is more willing to purchase clothes. The further focus of the study went to discover the driving force of buying new clothes amongst many influencing factors that can be ascribed to the rapid purchasing traits.

Also the discussion has continued to find the types of contagions that’s been pervasive to the neighbouring people of the dump fields. The dominant challenge is to reduce the inconsiderate dumping of clothing waste to the landfills. The underlying challenge falls on remoting the dumping ground from the residential areas. The primary solution to this lingering issue could be to exhort the usage of recycled, reused clothes to its peak. The people needs to be motivated and informed about the draconian effects of the problem. This study leaves us at the great opportunity of carrying on further researches on sustainable disposal means & pursuing the circular economy at the best possible manner.

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Please note that, this project was submitted to the Department of Textile Engineering Management (TEM), Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX), in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of B.Sc. in Textile Engineering (Management).

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