Survey: 1 in 3 U.S. consumers would do all their shopping at asustainable clothing store, if only one existed - Bio-based News -
Consumers in the United States want to make more environmentally-friendly choices when it comes to shopping for clothes, but a lack of availability and trustworthy information on what makes clothing more (or less) sustainable has made âsustainable fashionâ elusive for many. A new survey of 2,000 teenagers and adults in the U.S. from clean manufacturing leader Genomatica set out to understand consumersâ awareness, perspectives and behaviors around sustainability in fashion, finding that 86% of consumers believe sustainability is a good goal, yet nearly half (48%) donât know how or where to find sustainable clothes and 42% are confused about what makes clothing sustainable.Consumers are aware of environmental issues in the fashion industry
- Nearly 3 in 4 (72%) consumers have heard of environmental sustainability issues in the fashion industry â listing excess consumption, carbon emissions and water pollution from dye processes as issues theyâre aware of.
- Half (51%) believe that Americansâ clothing purchases each year result in substantial greenhouse gas emissions.
- The pandemic may have helped grow consumer awareness: 38% who are aware of sustainability issues in fashion have only become aware of them over the past year.
- Half (52%) of consumers believe sustainability is important and they consciously make choices to be more sustainable and 47% want to make more sustainable clothing choices, but they give into whatâs more convenient.
- 55% are interested in purchasing so-called âsustainable clothing,â but 48% donât know how or where to find sustainable clothes and 42% are confused about what actually makes clothing sustainable.
- Over a third (34%) say, âIf there was a store for sustainable clothes, Iâd do all my shopping there,â about the same number (33%) who say availability in chain clothing stores would make them want to purchase sustainable clothing. 31% would even support a âfast fashion taxâ on clothing thatâs unsustainable.
One respondent said it plainly: âItâs somewhat difficult to make sustainable choices because Iâm never really sure what sustainable means, particularly with clothing.â Another said: âItâs kind of hard to make sustainable choices because most companies where I live arenât making sustainable clothes.âHow clothing is made and what itâs made from are important considerations for consumers
- 58% of consumers care about the materials that make their clothes and want them to not be harmful to the planet.
- Nearly half (47%) rank clothing made with renewably-sourced or natural materials as a top sustainability characteristic, with around the same percent (46%) that list production processes with few to no toxic chemicals in their top three.
- 53% of consumers believe the majority of clothes are made of primarily synthetic material, slightly more than the number of consumers (47%) who realize fossil fuels (crude oil, coal, etc.) are the main building blocks of synthetic clothing.
Other findings from the Genomatica study include:Consumers are on the lookout for âgreenwashingâ in the fashion industry, but they still want brands to do the legwork to make sustainable choices easier
- Nearly 9 in 10 (88%) consumers donât immediately trust brands that say theyâre sustainable and half (51%) believe âgreenwashingâ is common in the fashion industry.
- 55% want clothing brands to help them understand how their products are more sustainable than alternatives.
- Half (50%) say that a sustainability label would help them identify sustainable clothes while shopping, and 38% say clearer information about sustainability features would make them want to purchase sustainable clothing.
- 44% believe brands are to blame for not prioritizing or providing enough convenient sustainable alternatives.
- During the pandemic, 44% of consumers say they purchased less clothing compared to before the pandemic, with more women saying so (50%) than men (39%).
- Nearly 1 in 3 (30%) who purchased more clothing since the start of the pandemic say they used shopping to help them deal with anxiety, depression and loneliness.
- Half (49%) say the pandemic reduced the pressure they feel to wear a different outfit every day.
âConsumers are demanding more sustainable options and weâre seeing time and time again that itâs information and availability that would help shoppers make the choices theyâre seeking. Thereâs a significant opportunity for fashion and apparel brands to show real leadership and make a substantive impact by providing consumers with the clear information they desire on the sourcing and environmental impact of their products,â said Christophe Schilling, Genomaticaâs CEO. âWith consumers on the side of sustainability and renewably-sourced options for common apparel materials like nylon becoming available, the choice for brands should become easy.â
» Publication Date: 01/06/2021
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