The Focus on Sustainability
Sustainability matters, but is it going to sell in stores? Based on a new report from the Italian Fashion Industry, the future is eco-friendly for department stores across the world. The report showcases an overwhelming response that eco-friendly fabric and sustainability are becoming an essential consideration for stores when it comes to deciding the brands they stock.
Overall, buyers expect to nearly double their spending on sustainable products over the next five years from 23% to 40%. A quarter of respondents even reveal that they will delist a brand if it doesn’t fit with the sustainability image. An average of 68% said that they consider sustainability a “hardcore” issue alongside issues including the origin of fabrics and working conditions. This is as opposed to the “soft core” issues including publicity, brand reputation, and philanthropy. This significant finding demands brands trying to enter stores to place an extensive investment to meet the required criteria.
The report is a positive shock that shows that major stores are understanding that consumers are serious regarding sustainability issues. It’s a recognition of the importance of consumers for a brand as well as the understanding that sustainability will differentiate their brand from the rest. Investments in sustainability do potentially alter pricing for consumer products. Luckily, it is about 70% of consumers would accept a price premium for these sustainable products. Consumers are willing to pay a higher price if they see transparent product information.
Sobering statistics do showcase that there is a long road ahead. Currently, 73% of clothing will end up in a landfill or being incinerated and less than 1% of materials to produce clothing is recycled. On the plus side, as something becomes fashionable, it also becomes powerful agents of this movement towards a more sustainable future. With 80% of Generation Z and Millennials interested in sustainability, investors want to invest in brands that provide what they are demanding. Overall, there is no better time for companies to show investors their sustainability programs in their business strategy in order to attract major buyers.