Data analytics firm Edited conducted a market analysis across the U.S. and U.K., to determine that “eco,” “vegan,” “recycled” and “conscious” are on the rise. The firm tracks data on over 800 million stockkeeping units.
The apparel industry accounts for 10 percent of global carbon emissions, and factors of which the consumer of past generations was previously unaware are now front and center when it comes to purchase intentions and marketing strategies.
Looking at data from 10 e-commerce fast-fashion retailers, Edited found that in the U.S. there are generally 42,000 new options for consumers each month. And those same retailers discount over 39,000 products for the first time each month, while the sell-through peaks at about 28,000 per month.
Since 2017, sustainability buzzwords were increasingly attached to new products, marked by a 49 percent growth of products described as “eco;” 173-percent growth of “recycled;” a 25 percent growth of “conscious;” and a 70-percent growth of “vegan” product.
While new products with these buzzwords flooded the market denoting a 125 percent uptick in the U.S. and U.K., these products combined account for only 3 percent of the items available online in these regions.
“It’s [sustainability] more than an organic cotton T-shirt,” said Patrick McDowell, a London-based designer known for his upcycled creations and partnerships with secondhand shopping app Depop, in a separate interview with WWD.
New York-based communications firm No. 29 was founded essentially to combat “green-washing.” Cofounders Melody Serafino and Erin Allweiss shared how their goal is to “demonstrate who’s really doing right,” with the best brands being those showing off their factories, publishing wages and disclosing their product material metrics.
Fast-fashion retailer Asos, according to the report, stocks the highest number of organic cotton products, but it’s not the only retailer jumping on the bandwagon for organic cotton and reshaping their sourcing commitments.
H&M Group, Zalando and Gap are partnering with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which aims to reduce the environmental impact of the material and bolster the growers’ livelihoods around the world.
As for cotton alternatives, Lyocell is gaining traction within denim categories. In swimwear, fabric alternatives, Econyl and Repreve (made from recycled plastic bottles) also gain more attention. With Stella McCartney likely leading the protest, vegan leather apparel and vegan beauty products and packaging are on the rise, too.
With more products proliferating the market, the report shows that the “green premium” is going down wherein “prices are either the same or more affordable than in 2017.” But customers are willing to pay for an eco-friendly product, as long as it is “fashionable.”
For More Sustainability News, See:
WATCH: Scaling a Business With Jen Atkin