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The standard for customer satisfaction and value is gradually shifting from product quality or famous brand names. Consumers are beginning to associate with brands that reflect their values, and this bias is fast becoming a trend in most industries, fashion inclusive.
The line of thought is simple; if my money helps promote a brand, such a brand should promote my societal and environmental values in return. Climate change and its effects are beginning to drive a paradigm shift for most people, which is becoming evident even in consumers' shopping activities.
The fashion industry hasn't particularly been a saint when environmental pollution is considered. Textile production processes burden the ecosystem with over 26 billion pounds of textile waste ending up in landfills annually, as reported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. While many will not sacrifice their fashion taste for an environmental course, some people are willing to make changes that might promote sustainability even if it means giving up some habits.
For quite a number of people, protecting the environment is becoming a priority, and it is beginning to influence their purchasing pattern, though value and ease of purchase still contribute largely to the decision leading to the demand of a product. A survey in 2019 led by Hotwire indicated that about 47% of internet users worldwide are loyal only to brands that align with their values, and environmental preservation happens to take the lead.
Sustainability is already a known concept with edible products. From time to time, you'll see organic or sustainably-grown products when you visit the grocery store. This model isn’t as commonplace in fashion as it is with consumables but it is getting replicated in the fashion industry with eco brand clothing and ethical fashion brands.
Balancing Sustainability and Style in Fashion?
The concept of trends and vogue in fashion does not seem to align with sustainability. Standard fashion practice dictates the continuous production of new styles while sustainability, on the other hand, frowns at every activity that will lead to toxic waste generation. However, fashion brands are starting to balance staying relevant in business and producing in an eco-friendly manner. One of the pioneer brands strongly advocating sustainability is the Societal Fashion brand.
Societal has found a way to merge eco brand clothing with promoting human rights, without violating style concept. This clothing brand considers the impact of their production processes on the environment, which, by implication, extends to its customers and workers' health. Societal does all these and still delivers top quality products and trendy styles.
Even if a consumer isn't an advocate for sustainability, the concept of doing good even as you purchase will appear appealing to many. Experts have postulated when studying many shoppers' habits that knowing you are doing good by purchasing eco-friendly products helps shoppers justify their penchant for expensive purchases and costly products.
Many shoppers will choose a particular ethical brand regardless of other factors to show off that they have high standard personal values. You will find fashion enthusiasts associate themselves with eco brand clothing because they want to create a desired public image. This consumer habit conforms with the social signaling theory, where people purchase to create a public perception and form favorable opinions.
How Economical is Sustainability?
At first glance, sustainability might appear expensive. When you consider the extra cost you will incur in producing eco-friendly products, you may hastily decide it is not an economical choice. This is one notion Dean Jones, the CEO and founder of Societal, is working to change in the fashion world. He believes waste management and wise material use can lead to savings, not to talk of the aversion of a climatic disaster whose management (if not averted) comes at a great cost.
While the price tag on a societal fashion piece may appear relatively high, you may want to balance this out, considering not just the cost to your pocket but also on the environment. In the long run, eco brand clothing might be a lot cheaper than it appears.
Several brands, start-ups and big firms inclusively have begun joining the train of sustainability considering the population of the eco-friendly conscious shoppers in recent times. The big guys in the fashion game have started embracing the use of sustainable raw materials for production. This shift aside, the very act of promoting eco brand clothing will also increase non-profit organizations' involvement in the fashion industry.
Societal Prioritizing Sustainability in Branding
The awareness that it might not be an easy ride to completely migrate production from what it used to be to a favorable sustainability process is why Societal has decided to start small and gradually build their eco brand clothing tilting towards sustainability.
Dean Jones suggested that brands can start by focusing on the sustainable production process. These brands can also take the good deed a step further by adopting transparency (which, of course, might be a very difficult thing to do for most brands) in all of their processes. These acts will make them responsible and accountable for every one of their activities.
As shoppers or consumers, we have a significant role in promoting sustainability, particularly in eco brand clothing. You do not have to entirely sacrifice your taste in fashion or products as this might be unrealistic, but a little compromise here and there while shopping can cumulate into a noticeable change in the long run.