How important is sustainability for consumers in the fashion industry? When is a company considered sustainable or not? And what brands do consumers trust most in this context? Market research institute Facit Research has asked customers aged 18 and older these questions on behalf of Neonyt. Around 4,100 participants were interviewed about 35 brands for the “Fashion 2019” study. Answers show clearly that when it comes to clothing, the social aspects of sustainability are more important to consumers than in any other merchandise. Facit Research published the results of the study during the summer edition of Neonyt at the Kraftwerk Berlin from 2nd to 4th July 2019.
“Who does not recall that horrific factory collapse in Bangladesh?”, asks Jens Cornelsen, general manager of Facit Research. In 2013, the tragedy in Rana Raza cost 1135 lives and rattled the public. Consumers are reacting: 29% of respondents say that the sustainable image of a company depends on their commitment to fair working conditions in the producing countries. But other factors are also becoming more important: More than half of the people interviewed for the study identified packaging waste as problem number one. If companies do not face this problem, consumers react accordingly. Roughly 70% of respondents say that sustainability plays a role when shopping for clothing. 10% even say it depends on whether they actually buy a piece of clothing or not.
The study shows that a convincing and long-term sustainability strategy as well as transparent communication are of immense importance for the success of a company. Hess Natur and Freitag have convinced consumers and have reached a Sustainability Index of 100% and 72% respectively. All other brands examined in the study ranked in the middle of the index. Consumers are sceptical about how authentic the sustainability companies claim is and are worried about greenwashing. So, consumers are demanding companies to take a holistic approach to sustainability. At Neonyt, which will turn Kraftwerk Berlin into a hub for fashion, sustainability and innovation from 14th to 16th January 2020, exhibitors will show what holistic sustainable thinking can look like.
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