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Industry news: Retviews Report "The State of Sustainable Fashion"
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Industry news: Retviews Report "The State of Sustainable Fashion"

Greenwash or true commitment?

More and more frequently, big fashion brands advertise their sustainable collections. Zara has its "Join Life Line", H&M its "Conscious Collection". But how large is the actual share of these products in the stores? Retviews's market research report takes a close look at the sustainable offer at mayor fashion chains.

July 2020

Consumers are becoming more and more aware of sustainability, an issue, which has come to dominate social discourse. Fashion companies have also jumped on the bandwagon after realising that especially generations Y and Z care about an environmentally friendly use of resources. A report from Retviews, a Belgian company specialised in fashion market research reports, shows that all ten brands featuring in the report have launched their own sustainable collections. These collections, however, account to only a small share of their overall offer. According to Retviews, the sustainable collections of leading fashion players H&M and Zara account for about 10% of their total assortments respectively, Mango and Uniqlo reach only 2%. C&A’s sustainable collection accounts for almost a third of its entire assortment.

When it comes to categories, the share of sustainable products differs greatly. Childrenswear accounts for the lion’s share of sustainable clothing, even though the category accounts for only a small part of the entire classic clothing offer. In average, 50% of childrenswear is sustainable, followed by womenswear with 33%. Retviews assumes that parents are more willing to invest in sustainable clothing for their children and are increasingly inclined to shop sustainable fashion for themselves in the future.

Organic cotton and recycled fabrics are used most in environmentally friendly collections. The report from Retviews, however, points out that these fabrics use up huge amounts of resources like water and are one of the biggest reasons for ocean pollution. Consumption remains what it is – consumption. Also, fashion brands have different interpretations of the term sustainability, which is not clearly defined. There is a call for more transparency, considering that around 90% of consumers are aware of the situation and are willing to change their behaviour to protect the environment. They just do not know how.

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Retviews (2020): „The State of Sustainable Fashion”

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  • Sustainability

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