Sustainable fashion encapsulates many factors of the industry, including manufacturing, shipping, labels, packaging and more. It is a major movement that affects almost every aspect of the retail world.
“It’s clear that for any brand or retailer to remain relevant, sustainability needs to become a core component of its strategy,” says Greg Petro of Forbes Magazine.
Data shows the demand for sustainable fashion is on the rise, globally.
Google searches for the term “sustainable fashion brands” increased by 25 percent from 2017 to 2018, and by 61 percent since 2016. However, there aren’t just more Google searches for sustainable fashion: sustainable fashion sells out. According to an article by the Fashion House Fashionista there was a 450% increase in sales at sustainable fashion brands like Reformation and Allbirds from 2016 to 2018. It is clear that sustainability is more than just a trend, it is a movement.
“Younger consumers are seriously concerned with social and environmental causes, which many regard as being the defining issues of our time. They increasingly back their beliefs with their shopping habits, favoring brands that are aligned with their values and avoiding those that don’t.” says a 2019 report on the State of Fashion by the Business of Fashion and McKinsey and Company.
Read on to learn more about fashion and sustainability in 2019.
Top Sustainable Fashion Tips for Retailers
Below are some impactful ways your brand can promote sustainability across many functions of your business.
Zero net energy stores: The Québec-based retailer Simons recently lead the charge for Canadian sustainable fashion. It’s Québec-city based location opened its first zero-net energy store in 2019. The 80,000-square-foot department store is designed to produce as much energy as it uses. The Québec-city Simons store is powered by solar energy, and heated and cooled using a geothermal system that regulates temperature by tapping into the energy of the earth, improving its energy efficiency by 60%.
Paperless stores: Many stores are eliminating or reducing their paper usage by offering electronic receipts and cloth-based bags.
Eliminating plastic bags: Many retailers charge for plastic bags to help curb the number of plastic bags being used.
Clean energy for retail stores and factories: Clean energy is a massive opportunity for cost-savings and minimizing your carbon footprint. According to a report by McKinsey, energy is the fourth largest in-store operating cost for retailers after labor, rent, and marketing. (Source: McKinsey.)
Transparency: According to the above mentioned State of Fashion Report by the Business of Fashion and McKinsey and Business of Fashion, there has been a great consumer shift towards transparency.
“Fashion companies must come to terms with the fact that a more distrusting consumer expects full transparency across the value chain. Given the need to regain that trust, fashion players cannot afford not to examine longstanding practices across their businesses,” says the report.
Tech and Sustainability
There are major ways brands are fostering sustainability in 2019 by using technology to curb waste, and get insights on what matters to consumers.
Tech is being used to improve product development, thereby improving sales: AI technologies are generating additional profit for fashion brands by helping them better understand their customers and enhancing the impact of promotional activity and optimizing their product offering as well as the marketing spend.
Want to Go Radically Green?
At the Unique Group we’re proud champions of sustainable principles and carry many certified organic and eco-friendly materials. Want help crafting sustainable packaging? Contact us today.
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