Chief Marketing Officer at Initial parametersProduct performance cloud at the forefront of fashion, luxury and beauty.
The fashion industry is known for implementing trends that have the power to shape society and influence consumer buying behavior in general. But what is sometimes forgotten is the impact that everyday consumers have on the industry. In fact, the industry is largely dependent on consumer demand, and the demand for sustainable practices seems to be high these days. During the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic, in a study conducted by McKinsey, “67 percent [of respondents] They see the use of sustainable materials as an important purchasing factor, and 63 percent consider a brand’s sustainability promotion the same way. Therefore, consumers can consider the impact of the fashion industry on our environment.
Not only is the interest in sustainability high, but so is the discussion around the issue. Data from Launchmetrics’ proprietary algorithm that measures the value of media influence shows that MIV for sustainability grew 54 percent in the first semester of 2022 compared to the first semester of 2021, to $2 billion and $1.3 billion in value, respectively. (MIV is a financial proxy my company uses for brand performance.) This data looked at how much discussion about “sustainability” was generated in the media, as well as how many places the term was generated in each sector. When comparing the growing MIV to the classification the industry produces, it becomes clear that consumers are beginning to make changes. This shift means that brands must reevaluate their work to project the right brand image. And to achieve this, fashion brands must now take more concrete steps to embrace sustainability, a process that goes beyond brand image and campaigns.
Before looking at how the industry embraces sustainability, we must first understand what sustainability means in the fashion industry. Sustainability in this context refers to creating and consuming clothes in a “sustainable” way that protects the environment and those who produce the clothes. In addition, true sustainability must ensure that the manufacturing process is environmentally and socially sound, from materials to manufacturing to labor conditions and fair wages. Needless to say, this is a big change for an industry that has struggled with wasteful operations and negative environmental impacts for years. The fashion industry is responsible for up to 10 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions and accounts for a fifth of the 300 million tons of plastic produced annually worldwide, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Bloomberg). So naturally adopting sustainable practices is a challenge for the industry. However, this does not mean that the industry is not open to change; It’s quite the opposite.
In the last few years, the fashion industry has become aware of the issue and has begun to address it. In the first semester of 2022, fashion for sustainability accounted for $618 million in MIV. According to Launchmetrics’ sustainability report “Making Sense of Sustainability” produced in collaboration with the Camera Nazinale della Moda Italiana. (The report analyzed data from multiple platforms between January 2021 and October 2022.) The fashion industry accounts for one-third of all sustainability conversations. To me this indicates how open he is to change.
By taking a closer look at the conversation around sustainability and consumer demand, we can see that there are several areas of focus for these conversations. These areas include awareness, materials and processes. Consumers of all generations are willing to spend more on sustainable products, according to a study by First Insight and the Baker Retail Center at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (via the World Economic Forum) on U.S. consumer attitudes toward sustainable shopping (via the World Economic Forum). Now than two years ago. And more than a third of respondents said they chose brands that demonstrate environmentally sustainable practices or values. Additionally, 28 percent said they stopped buying from brands with poor ethical or sustainability values.
In response to this new demand, brands in the industry have done their best to incorporate sustainability practices into their operations. This is a prime example of promoting global awareness of sustainable development in the fashion industry. Brands that focus on delivering true sustainability can achieve positive outcomes in their communities. One brand that has done particularly well on this front is Levi’s, especially with its “Buy Better, Wear Longer” campaign. The global campaign raised awareness and encouraged consumers to be intentional about their clothing choices, ensuring that Levi’s long-term commitment to quality clothing will last for generations. Earlier this year, Levi’s collaborated with Ghani on another impactful campaign. The campaign featured Emma Chamberlain with her friends and featured clothes made with natural dyes, water-saving techniques and other sustainable measures. By having a YouTube star at the center of the campaign, I believe the company was appealing to the younger generation about sustainability. Another benefit of using an influencer as a campaign hub is the impact their voice has on the media. Forty-nine percent of consumers in Twitter and Analytics in 2016 survey They said they rely on influencers when looking for product recommendations.
Another example, as Forbes Contributor Blake Morgan explains, it’s Patagonia. The company not only uses sustainable materials in clothing, but also helps customers repair their clothes instead of buying new ones. This can encourage customers to wear clothes for life.
What we might have dismissed as a passing trend a few years ago, the sustainability movement is becoming increasingly ubiquitous as it drives changes in the fashion industry. With this continued growth, brands must recognize that surface-level measures will not work to appear sustainable and must drive real change to be profitable. The good news is that the fashion industry seems to be open to change and for this to continue, the industry needs to take responsibility and have full transparency from sample to shelf. This can benefit the consumer and the industry in the long run. As the industry grows, it can provide new sustainable solutions that accelerate this growth.
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