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Jun 7, 2019
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Less packaging and fair working conditions key for eco-conscious consumers

Jun 7, 2019

The fashion industry seems to be slowly moving towards a cleaner, more ethical future but are shoppers aware of what retailers are doing when it comes to sustainability?

According to a new survey released by e-commerce personalisation platform Nosto, 45% of consumers in the UK and US think it is difficult to know which fashion brands are really committed to sustainability.

In fact, just 23% of the 2,000 consumers included in the survey said they had a good idea about what it means when a fashion brand is “committed to sustainability”.

Interestingly, over half of consumers (52%) want to see the fashion industry become more sustainable, so it seems brands could be doing more to inform their customers about their initiatives.

The survey also shed light on the top five ways consumers want fashion to become more sustainable, with calls for reduced packaging (75%) and fair pay for workers (74%) among their top demands.

They also want to see brand use renewable and recyclable materials (73%), make clothes that are designed to last longer (71%) and use fewer resources e.g. power/water/materials (64%).


Given the large number of consumers who find it difficult to make eco-friendly purchases it should come as no surprise that 74% of those surveyed would like retailers to clearly label clothes that are made in sustainable ways.

Those in favour of greater sustainability also suggested retailers to offer discounts on clothing ranges that are more sustainable (62%), do more to advertise and promote clothing that is made in sustainable ways (62%), and allow online shoppers to trade-in their used clothes for discounts on new items (54%). 43% recommended brands to automatically show people more sustainable alternatives to the items they are viewing online.

“Retailers are an important part of solving the sustainability challenge. They can support the industry by making it easier and simpler for shoppers to make sustainable choices,” Jim Lofgren, CEO of Nosto, said.

“Although brands are aware that consumers are increasingly concerned about sustainability in the fashion industry, they need to be more transparent and get better at communicating how they’re addressing it. For example, only 23% of consumers we questioned agreed that they generally have a good idea what fashion brands mean when they say they are committed to sustainability”.

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