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Conducted in early 2020, Lenzing’s “Global Consumer Perception Survey on Sustainability in Apparel and Home Textiles” gathered critical knowledge on consumers’ purchasing preferences to amplify business potential for the industry. With responses from 9,000 people globally, the key findings concluded that consumers are actively pursuing sustainable lifestyles, and the COVID-19 pandemic has further fueled this. Therefore, the need for brands to move from producing disposable items to durable and long-lasting pieces has never been more apparent. By doing this and showing greater support chain transparency on the raw materials and ingredients used in production, brands can build consumer trust and confidence. It is no doubt that sustainability is no longer just a trend, but a business imperative.
Now then, this will lead us to the question of how brands can meet their own business needs whilst ensuring those of the consumer are met. Lenzing’s findings indicate that consumer education on brands’ sustainability commitments is on the rise, with 76% of people surveyed, researching clothing prior to making their purchase. Without strong green credentials, customer loyalty will dwindle making it a key area for businesses to focus on. In fact, the interest in sustainable fashion has grown so substantially that 80% of consumers surveyed are “extremely/very interested” in the topic and 40% said they would be willing to pay more for sustainable apparel and bedding products. This is certainly great news for brands, especially given that most have been forced to adapt to reduced demand since the start of the pandemic.
With consumer allegiance playing a critical role, perhaps the next step in boosting credibility is for brands to show the necessary transparency across the supply chain. By communicating ingredient origin and sourcing, along with product production and processes, brands can demonstrate integrity and trustworthiness to those purchasing from them. Detailed product hangtags and labels can give further essential detail, with terminology such as “natural”, “eco-friendly”, “recyclable” and “biodegradable”, satisfying the 88% of consumers who read them before purchasing.
Beyond revamping manufacturing practices, brands should also establish strong relationships with consumers through corporate citizenship initiatives to educate them on embracing eco-friendly lifestyles. In the long run, this is a crucial step towards meeting changing consumer demands and reaching carbon neutrality, the pinnacle of a brand’s sustainability journey - something that Lenzing is committed to achieving over the next 30 years.