How lack of information is a barrier to sustainable fashion purchases | Fashion

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More than a fleeting moment in fashion, environmentally responsible clothing has gradually become part of the regular shopping habits of consumers in Europe and the US.

A new international study reveals that these garments now represent a third of the fashion budget of shoppers in France and almost half of that of consumers in Italy.

A pending problem is no longer the price, but the lack of information about these options, which now seems to be the last barrier to a (truly) more conscious consumption.

Sustainable fashion is no longer a fantasy. Committed and aware of the issues related to the climate emergency, consumers are slowly but surely turning towards a greener wardrobe.

While some people doubted a real change in consumer mindsets, it seems shoppers in Europe and the US have made a place for sustainable fashion in their wardrobes.

This is suggested by a new study carried out by the Institut Francais De La Mode (IFM) and Premiere Vision that interviewed no less than 7,000 people in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and the United States.

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A third of the clothing budget.

In the space of three years, sustainable fashion has managed to infiltrate the buying habits of consumers in both Europe and the United States.

While just over four in ten people surveyed in Europe said they had bought at least one eco-responsible fashion item in 2019, nearly two-thirds have now taken the plunge, compared to 58% of Americans.

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But it is in Italy that the appeal of sustainable fashion is most evident. There, the proportion of people who have bought at least one eco-responsible fashion item has increased from 45% in 2019 to more than 78% in 2022.

And these don’t seem to be (just) one-time purchases. In fact, sustainable fashion seems to be taking an increasing place in the fashion budgets of those surveyed.

Eco-responsible fashion items account for a fifth of Americans’ total fashion spending, 30% of the fashion budget for those in Germany, a third for those in France, and up to 45% for those in Italy.

These figures suggest that sustainable fashion is anything but a passing trend, and that it seems to be becoming a permanent part of consumer habits and behaviors.

Eyes are on fabrics and local production.

But, what exactly is sustainable and/or eco-responsible fashion in the eyes of consumers?

For respondents in the UK (30%), Germany (31%) and Italy (39%), the material used is seen as the main factor for a more responsible approach to fashion and is therefore the main driving force driving force behind such purchases.

But those in France (33%) and the US (43%) give more importance to local production, which they see as a guarantee of less environmental impact and greater transparency, thanks, among other things, to national regulations perceived as stricter. .

It remains to be seen which brands meet respondents’ environmental concerns across the board. And this is precisely where the problem lies.

Without naming individual brands, the study reveals that the most popular “textile multinationals”, including sports brands and fast fashion brands, are among the top five green brands cited by respondents in all five countries surveyed.

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A ranking that undoubtedly attests to the success of the communication campaigns carried out by these giants of the sector, as well as a lack of information that the respondents know very well.

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knowledge is key

Previous research unanimously cited price as the main barrier to purchasing environmentally responsible fashion items. But this no longer seems to be the case.

The study shows that lack of information is now the main obstacle for the 40% of respondents in France who have not yet taken the step, and 49% of Americans.

Almost a third of the respondents even say that they do not know where to find this type of product.

This is a barrier that needs to be overcome to help the 90% of respondents who want to change the way they buy clothes, to help them build a more sustainable wardrobe.

The consequences of this lack of information can be seen in the many preconceptions that surround leather. The environmental impact and animal suffering involved in making the material are particularly prominent, especially in Europe.

However, the study shows that the majority of those surveyed do not know that leather comes mainly from animals intended for meat consumption, and that it is therefore a material derived directly from waste from the food industry.

However, it still occupies a privileged place in the consumer’s wardrobe: more than 50% of Italian women and 58% of American men surveyed bought at least one leather item in the last 12 months. – AFP relaxnews

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