Fashion consumers are set to “move sharply” towards favoring more ‘sustainable’ practices in the sector, said a new report from Bain & Company and WWF Italy.
The report, based on a consumer survey of 5,900 shoppers from six nations – China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK, also said that whilst just 15% of the sample said they’re ‘highly concerned about the industry’s environmental credentials at present, it could grow to as much as half in the coming years.
Speaking at the report, Bain & Company senior partner, Claudia D’Arpizio, said; “Sustainable shopping is an inevitable change. Concern for sustainability is strong among younger generations – and growing overall. Hence, fashion brands need to embrace the sustainability conversation and make sustainable purchasing easier for all consumers.”
Of the sample, 65% of respondents said they care about the environment but only a fraction of them said they prioritized ‘sustainability’ when making new purchases.
The report also said that more tangible factors impacted their thought processes, such as a product’s durability and quality.
The report alludes to a number of obstacles facing consumers at present, such as the suggestion it can be difficult for them to distinguish between sustainable and non-sustainable items.
What’s more, it says ‘sustainable’ assortments are often limited, making it difficult for shoppers to identify such offerings.
Bain & Company and WWF Italy have encouraged brands and retailers to get ahead of the curve not only because they believe more consumers will prioritize a product’s sustainability credentials in the future, but because their practices will continue to have adverse effects on the environment unless action is taken.
“The fashion industry is highly dependent on nature and biodiversity. A great deal of the raw materials used in fashion and to make textiles come from nature, and the production and processing of these materials wouldn’t be possible without natural resources like water. But despite all of these dependencies, the industry’s practices are responsible for many damaging impacts to nature that put the sector’s survival at risk,” said Payal Luthra, global apparel and textiles lead at WWF.
“The time is now for brands to take action on sustainability – they’ll not only benefit from enhanced resilience but will have the incredible opportunity to build brand loyalty with increasingly conscious consumers.”