We live in an age of information proliferation. Consumers today have more access to information than ever before.
That means that they are more informed than they’ve ever been, with opinions on everything.
The ease of availability of information also means that consumers can now find out about the commodities they are using in great detail, down to the materials used in the packaging.
The ease of access to information also means that consumers know what are harmful substances for the environment, the practices used in production, the way the items are made and who and what they harm, the ramifications of purchasing them as well as exploitative practices that brands and companies engage in. In the current era, privacy is a thing of the past, and nothing really remains unknown.
The conscience of consumers also definitely extends to the clothes they wear. The fashion industry is a major consumable item, as clothes are worn by almost everyone.
They are also a major part of everyone’s personalities, being a marker of the style that people like, and the image they want to portray to other people.
Being important parts of people’s lives, and having so many meanings and connotations attached to the fabric we use to drape ourselves; it makes sense that consumers would want certain images and associations attached with the brand they’re proudly displaying, and they would necessarily require those images and associations to be positive.
The fashion industry has also not had a very positive relationship with social issues, being one of the worst industries in terms of the damage it causes on a global scale.
For something as innocuous as cloth production, it has definitely punched above its weight.
From environmental degradation to child labour, sweatshop slavery, exploitation of workers, patent infringements, stealing copyrights and much more, the fashion industry has arguably had a very toxic existence.
This has been noticed with consumers as well, who have asked fashion brands to do better, and fashion brands have listened.
After all, studies show that 80% of all customers of fashion brands would like the brands they wear and the brands they purchase to help them be more ethical and environmentally friendly.
Consumers know what they want, but the research involved in and finding brands that are ethical and environmentally friendly can be a hassle for most consumers.
However, advertising centred around the ethicality and environmental friendliness of brands can have a major impact in driving customers towards brands, ensuring not only the happiness of customers, but increasing the sales of brands.
Almost 38% of all consumers want fashion brands they support to reduce the negative impact they have on the environment. 58% of customers also care about the materials that make their clothes and would not want to harm the planet.
Since environmental degradation is a major concern due to the heightening tensions surrounding global warming, climate change and impending planetary doom, it makes sense that customers would want to ensure that items of daily use, such as clothes, aren’t contributing to or exacerbating an already worsening situation.
It is important for almost 62% of customers that the brands they support stand up for the same issues they stand for.
People want their clothes to be a comprehensive overview of their philosophy, and that includes the brand they’re wearing.
It is also important for consumers that the brands that they wear aren’t involved in or associated with incidents of sweatshop workers or employee exploitation, as wearing clothes that are the fruits of exploited labour can not only put a dampen on the joys of new clothes, but also help corporations profit off of unethical activities.
Consumers also do not want to support brands involved in these activities because of the ramifications of wearing clothes made through exploited means.
It is also important to customers that brands not get involved in activities such as greenwashing, which is the practice of pretending to be green or advertising one’s brand as green and sustainable but not implementing those activities in practice.
All of these expectations that consumers have from the brands they choose and wear on an everyday basis are valid and serious issues, and the rising tide of Gen-Z consumers also ensures that brands are taking notice of the concerns of customers and taking steps to help solve their problems.
For example brands such as Patagonia, H&M, The Pearl Source, Gucci, Toms etc have taken notice and initiated steps to help the planet.
Featured image: Pixabay