How the consumer and manufacturers approach is changing compared to eco-sustainability: comparing numbers
Derived from the need of the human being to consider every resource as unique and precious, the concept of environmental sustainability takes into account not only the ecological aspect but also the social equity, the respect of the employees and the consumers, with a special attention also to the economic aspect.
A sensitivity that in recent years is increasingly widespread and also rooted in the fashion world, so much that sustainable fashion, more than a passing and circumscribed trend, can now be considered a lasting attention intended for large numbers.
Growing numbers: the consumer demand connected to green fashion
It is undeniable that the evolution in the direction of eco-sustainability is largely urged by consumer demands towards an ecological fashion and that many companies make their choices and decide their economic investments based on surveys and statistics on purchase preferences.
In this regard, comparing the data of 2019 and 2020 concerning users searches on the web, the Google Search Console shows us that in the first 6 months this year there was an increase in searches for green fashion of + 57% compared to the same period of the previous year, with about 529K searches Vs 336K in 2019. Among the most searched terms we have “Sustainable fashion”, “Ethical fashion”, “Ecological fashion”, “Circular fashion”.
In addition to eco-sustainable clothing, users’ attention is also concentrated on ecological shoes, bags and accessories, for example ecological shoppers, ecological bags and Repet bags. Among searched term also those related to ecological fabrics, such as Lyocell, Moda, Tencel and Organic Cotton emerge.
The commitment of the fashion industry: sustainability and transparency
Based on the reported data, it is clear that for the fashion industry, sustainability is becoming increasingly indispensable for the survival of its business. This statement is supported by the results of a recent research carried out by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and based on interviews to big brands.
The report ‘Sustainability is fashionable?’ stated that for 60% of the major fashion brands interviewed the sustainable turning point represents one of the two main strategic objectives for their business (second to the improving of customer satisfaction). This data are in contrast with the traditional objective of “rewarding shareholders” once considered fundamental and today voted only by 15% of respondents. The top managers of the fashion brands are also working to introduce sustainability measures in the entire production chain, from the procurement of the raw materials produced in a sustainable manner (65%), to the adoption of an approach based on the circular economy and on the reduction of greenhouse gases (51% each), to the investment in new technologies such as 3D printing and blockchain (41%).
To ensure consumers a more responsible fashion and demonstrate their ethical commitment, many companies today are committed to act transparently, providing all the information regarding the finished product, as well as performing inspections to check the working conditions in their production centers. 53% of the top managers in the sector consider the company’s data collection and supply chain to measure the performance as priorities.
To guarantee the nature and origin of the materials used, the traceability of the product (i.e. all the steps the product has gone through before arriving in the hands of the consumer), the environmental impact and the respect for the rights of the employees involved in the supply chains of textile, the sector has introduced labels and environmental certifications issued by local or international bodies, such as the Technical Standard Gots (Global Organic Textile Standard) and FSC Certifications (Forest Stewardship Council) and BCI (Better Cotton Initiative).