There are many reasons why brands need to work constantly to become more sustainable. Not only should companies be tackling the climate crisis head-on, but they should also be working to meet the needs of their eco-conscious millennial and Generation Z customer base.
The textile industry has been a contributor to the climate crisis for many years now and it’s time to make a change. Because of this, combined with consumer trends and the priorities of shoppers, it’s more urgent than ever for brands to embrace sustainability.
Clearly, the issue needs to be tackled face-on and, thankfully, many brands are already taking it upon themselves to make some monumental changes and if more companies follow in their footsteps, the future of fashion might be brighter than predicted.
The future of fashion and the brands leading the way
Customers and brands alike are veering towards a more sustainable way of producing and consuming fashion. Search trends for the term ‘sustainable fashion’ have consistently risen since 2016 and, according to the Global Fashion Agenda, 75 per cent of consumers rate sustainability as “very or extremely important”. What’s more, out of the 2,500 people surveyed on one YouGov survey, it was revealed that 49 per cent of millennials would choose ethical clothing over what’s on trend, and 46 per cent would choose fewer items that were designed to last.
‘Sustainable fashion’ Google search volumes
This trend towards ethical shopping and the ‘quality over quantity’ ethos adopted by young consumers has been reflected in the measures taken by many fashion brands. Zalando, for example, has partnered with nine different sustainable brands to create a green collection. Speaking on the subject, Zalando’s Head of Buying Premium and Luxury, Lena-Sophie Roeper, said that “sustainability is an increasingly important topic in all our categories, especially in Premium.”
More brands are deciding to go down the route of sustainability, both to the relief of climate activists and the pleasure of their eager consumers. Zalando’s ‘do.MORE’ strategy is just one example of the fantastic initiatives that global brands are taking to slash their carbon footprint and provide quality products that champion sustainable brands rather than throw-away items that will inevitably end up in landfill.
How can you change your fast fashion habits?
Luckily, there are more sustainable options than ever before on the fashion market. So, with a little research and some savvy shopping, you can still shop for dresses, shoes, and jewellery to your heart’s content without having a devastating impact on the environment. Here are some top sustainable shopping tips:
- Aim for #30Wears
One of the best ways to tackle fast fashion and throwaway-culture is to make sure that you re-wear the pieces you buy. According to the #30Wears campaign, started by Livia Firth, the average woman only keeps an item of clothing in her wardrobe for five weeks! So, even though 30 wears may not seem like a lot, it’s way above the average. If you don’t think you’ll want to re-wear a piece that many times, reconsider whether or not it’s worth buying.
- Research your brands
Brand transparency is essential if you’re striving for a sustainable wardrobe. Before you buy, research the brand in question and ensure that they have sustainable practices and a clear, ethical method of production in place.
- Buy investment pieces
Although cheap pieces can be extremely tempting, try to stick to the mantra ‘quality over quantity’. An investment piece might cost a little more upfront, but it’s more likely to be sustainable and to have come from an ethical production line in which garment workers have received a fair wage.
Hand in hand, brands and consumers are radically tackling the issue of fast fashion and formulating a new, sustainable industry standard. For both large companies and individual fashion-enthusiasts, each decision can make the world of difference. So, take a closer look at your own shopping habits today and begin striving for a more sustainable wardrobe.