New values Sustainability when buying fashion
In recent years, consumers have become far more aware of the issue of sustainability. Fairtrade coffee, animal welfare in the meat trade and organic vegetable farming are just a few examples. And the fashion business is no exception.
Do you really know what working conditions are like for those making the clothes you wear? Where do the raw materials come from? The younger generation is interested in precisely these issues. They want to know if the seamstress received a fair wage and whether the material is made from certified organic cotton.
Generation Z is not only wowed by technological innovations. Young people have a clear sense of community and a strong sense of responsibility. And they also want companies to act responsibly. Not least because of the coronavirus crisis, this change in values is likely to be reflected in other generations.
More and more consumers now recognize that “fast fashion” – clothes produced quickly and inexpensively whose collections are sold with ever shorter lead times – is a waste of resources. But it’s not enough to openly exploit sustainability through PR. Customers are increasingly aware, and now recognize the greenwashing of what are actually poor economic methods.
The LVMH Group has developed a platform called AURA based on blockchain technology, which gives consumers information about the origin and authenticity of products. Thanks to this blockchain technology, customers can clearly see how a product is produced, by whom and in what conditions. “The Other Bar” is an example from the food sector. It’s a chocolate bar made exclusively from sustainably farmed raw materials. And customers are given information about this on the packaging using blockchain technology and special access codes.
Such background stories give the customer the feeling that they are ethically doing the right thing. They also create a personal relationship with the product and, in the best-case scenario, enhance brand loyalty.
By consistently focusing on sustainability within fashion, ecology and sustainability are becoming part of a verifiable promise to consumers. The lines between designers and small businesses who focus on sustainable, environmentally-friendly and fairly-produced fashion are becoming blurred. Yet these different partners have the same vision, mission and values, share the same convictions and pursue the same goals.
Responsibility for a product does not end when it’s sold – it needs to be thought through to the end. Durability, re- and upcycling and circular systems are becoming increasingly important in the fashion industry. H&M, for example, has already invested in second-hand platforms.
The common thrust towards greater sustainability pools strengths and turns customers into fans – every individual can help make the world a little better.
To ensure that this can work for everyone, the entire organization clearly has to embrace these values unconditionally and as one.
I look forward to hearing numerous company stories that are authentic and, above all, honest. Stay tuned!
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