EU consumers expect fashion brands to be transparent


EU consumers expect fashion brands to be transparent

22 Nov `18

3 min read

A majority of the consumers across the five largest EU markets expect fashion brands to be more transparent by sharing detailed information, says a research. The shoppers want to know more about the social and environmental impacts of their garments when shopping for clothes, and they want the brands and governments to be doing more to address these issues.

When it comes to buying clothes, more people care about workers being paid fair, living wages and environmental protection than they do about clothes being produced locally or made without harming animals or using recycled materials, according to the survey commissioned by Fashion Revolution.

The online poll of 5,000 people across the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain was conducted by Ipsos MORI for Fashion Revolution. This survey was conducted as part of a baseline study in the 'Trade Fair, Live Fair' project. It is a 3-year project funded by the European Commission and brings together 31 partners from the Fair Trade community across the EU, including Fashion Revolution, Fairtrade International, Fairtrade Foundation, World Fair Trade Organisation, and many others.

The majority of people think that fashion brands should reduce their long-term impacts on the world by addressing global poverty, climate change, environmental protection and gender inequality – all issues covered by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Environmental factors were considered most important (85 per cent listing climate change and 88 per cent environmental protection in order of importance), with social issues not far behind (84 per cent considered it important for fashion brands to address global poverty and 77 per cent said gender inequality is important).

"The pace of change by the fashion industry simply isn’t moving fast enough, and we can see this reflected in consumer attitudes. People have an urgent, emotional desire to know more about how their clothes are made, and that they haven’t harmed the environment, the people who made them nor were tested on animals. And they want governments to hold brands and retailers to account to ensure this happens," Sarah Ditty, Fashion Revolution policy director, said.

The study revealed that consumers are interested to know more about the social and environmental impacts of the clothing they buy. 67 per cent would like clothing brands to tell them where the materials used in their products come from and 59 per cent of people would like to know how their clothes are manufactured. 61 per cent of people are interested in learning about what clothing companies are doing to minimise their impacts on the environment and to protect their workers’ human rights. 59 per cent of respondents are interested in learning what clothing companies do to improve the lives of people in the societies where they manufacture their products.

More Generation Z and millennials (respondents ages 16-34) said they consider social impacts when buying clothes than older generations. While people in the UK said that buying clothes made by workers being paid a fair, living wage was important to them than in any other country surveyed, but only 5 per cent of Brits consider clothes being produced locally to be important, compared to 14 per cent in France and Spain.

Meanwhile, 37 per cent of Spanish shoppers said that buying clothes that have been made in safe working conditions was important to them, compared to considerably fewer respondents in France (21 per cent).

"We’d like the general public, companies and governments to use our research to help drive change in the fashion industry, to better influence their peers to care more about social and environmental issues in fashion and start asking vital questions about the impacts of our clothing," Ditty concluded. (RR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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