Our recent exploration of sustainability initiatives in the fast fashion industry raised one big question: faced with increasing consumer demands, how can brands make big changes without compromising their identity? For the fast fashion space, this is a tricky proposition – after all, their identity is built on providing clothing that is trendy and disposable. When consumers decide they want to support sustainable brands, how can the giants of fast fashion (or any industry) make those necessary shifts?
Incremental change is the safest approach, but when consumers are clamoring for something new, they expect brands to act quickly. The issue of sustainability is particularly time-sensitive, as reports continually surface about the environmental damage caused by industries including fashion. The change process isn’t easy, but consumers are ready to reward the brands that take the lead. Continue Reading
The fast fashion model is built on trendy, cheaply made pieces that are only meant to last through a few seasons before being retired or forgotten. As a result, unprecedented amounts of clothing are ending up in landfills (or on bonfires) after being worn once or twice. We recently examined fast fashion brand Zara’s new sustainability goals, noting that while it’s encouraging to see a major brand step forward to start a conversation about sustainability and environmental impact, these goals will require enormous change within the fashion industry as a whole.
Faced with the need to make monumental changes, where do consumers and the fashion industry begin?
Research shows that consumers, especially younger buyers, favor brands that have a track record of sustainability. As a result, leaders in many industries are moving in a more environmentally and socially conscious direction. However, sustainability is a complex goal.
Depending on your business, sustainability initiatives can encompass everything from updating facilities to be greener, examining ingredients used in manufacturing and analyzing supply chain practices to considering how products are packaged and shipped. True sustainability usually requires major structural change.