A global awareness of climate change and environmental issues is leading to sweeping changes in how consumers evaluate and choose their products. Customers are increasingly looking deeper into brands before making their final purchase decision. While a specific item may appeal to them, they also want to know that the brand is transparent about their values and truly cares for the well-being of the planet too.
Sustainability has become a hot topic in our environmentally conscious world. While phrases like ‘sustainably-grown’ and ‘organic’ were once associated primarily with grocery items, the interest in good for the planet items is now directly affecting the fashion world too. Consumer interest is driving a revolution in fashion that is changing both production and buying habits across the globe.
As environmental concerns become even more important for consumers, sustainability in fashion is a fast growing trend. Millennials and Gen Z prospective shoppers are looking for new choices in fashion that match their wallets and their values. Between the years 2016 and 2019, online searches for the phrase ‘sustainable fashion’ tripled in volume.
This new wave of buyers wants quality products from companies that also care about the same things and have similar values to their own. They are willing to pay more for sustainable lifestyle brands that align with their interests and sensibilities. Furthermore, consumers are increasingly dropping brands that don’t match their own deeply held beliefs.
It is estimated that over half the fashion industry firms want more than 50% of their products to be created using sustainable materials by the year 2025. The industry is jumping on board this new trend because they are seeing that sustainability sells. Eco-friendly practices are being introduced on an ever enlarging scale.
Forward thinking fashion companies are focused on creating sustainable items that are both affordable and accessible. While many items in this hot area now command a premium price, further refinement of the supply chain and limiting extraneous packaging and waste during the product creation cycle should bring costs in line with today’s traditional product offerings.
Helping the Environment
When you look at the effect of fashion on pollution, the numbers can be staggering. An estimated 26 billion pounds of textiles wind up in landfills each year in the United States alone. This amount of waste has doubled over the course of the last 20 years. In the United Kingdom 140 million pounds of clothing end up in landfills annually.
These totals don’t even take into account the amount of waste created during manufacturing processes when many items are produced in China. Leading fashion brands have seen a dramatic reduction in environmental pollution and waste when they have applied sustainable principles to the production process. Some forward thinking companies are actually creating clothing that can actually be composted at the end of the item’s life cycle once you remove the zippers and buttons.
With all the interest in the health of the planet, sustainability and environmental consciousness are top of mind for many consumers now. Fashion companies are responding to the demand and are increasingly producing sustainable items to meet the new consumer demand.