Quarter of Britons now making more considered purchases
Budgetary constraints and environmental awareness are accelerating consumer adoption of more sustainable practices, such as using rental services and shunning fast fashion, according to a new report.
Love the Sales, an online fashion site with hundreds of discounts, has released the findings of a new research into the evolution of consumers’ attitudes towards fashion over the past ten years.
The survey of 2,000 people conducted in November uncovered what motivates consumers when considering a clothing purchase and what technology shoppers want to see incorporated in garments in the next decade.
It found that 22% of British consumers state they now make more considered purchases today compared to ten years ago, and nearly 10% are turning their backs on fast fashion.
A further 13% care more about the ethical side of fashion today than they used to, showing how much the sector has evolved in the last decade.
Meanwhile, only 19% said that trendiness is a key decision-making factor when buying apparel.
Fashion brands are paying attention to the consumer mindset shift. In fact, 150 clothing brands such as Gucci, Nike, Prada, Burberry and Zara joined the G7 Fashion Pact this year, essentially committing to working together to achieve a series of science-based targets concerning global warming, preserving the oceans and restoring biodiversity.
Professor John Rudd of Warwick Business School says: “Increasingly, but not exclusively, younger consumers are making informed choices about the behaviour and ethics that underpin the organisations from which they buy. They are looking for more authentic organisations that not only talk about global and environmental issues but actively champion and support them.”
Solving the country's unsustainable throwaway culture
Younger consumers, aged 16-29, are driving the force for change. 8% of the shoppers in this age group are choosing to buy fewer but more expensive clothes - that is four times higher than the proportion of women over the age of sixty (2%).
7% of young shoppers also said they are turning their back on fast fashion, although this seems to be a trend across the board, with nearly 10% of UK consumers stating they will favour more sustainable clothing products in the future.
Sustainability is in fact the third most important purchasing factor for Britons, right after price and quality. 57% of shoppers believe quality is ‘very important’ when purchasing clothing, not least because it ensures garment longevity. The aspect of least importance is how fashionable the item is, found the report.
As consumer desire for a more sustainable industry grows, technology may have the answer. 7% of Britons want to see solar panels in their clothing and 22% want garments to feature smart climate control. A further 32% cited self-cleaning clothes as being their technology of choice.
Stuart McClure, Founder of Love The Sales, says it is reassuring to see consumers embracing sustainability: “Attitudes are changing for the better. On top of that, technology presents a huge opportunity for brands and retailers to help to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry and the associated problems of excess inventory.”
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