How Much Do Consumers Want Sustainability in Fashion?

October 20, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

Brand-Related | CSR & Environmental | Customer-Centric | Industries | Retail & E-Commerce | Spending Trends

Almost 6 in 10 adults in the US agree that they want the fashion industry to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly, according to a survey [download page] from Nosto. But the extent to which they’re willing to take action is mixed.

Recent research finds that a growing number of US adults would pay a premium for sustainable fashion products. However it seems that the economy is getting in the way. Almost two-thirds (64%) of US respondents to Nosto’s survey agreed that the increasing cost of living will mean that they are currently more concerned about price rather than sustainability when shopping for clothes. That sentiment comes amidst a situation in which a majority (56%) also agree that clothes/fashions that are sustainable/environmentally friendly are often too expensive.

In fact, only a minority (43%) agree that they will pay more for a sustainably made version of the same fashion item, and likewise fewer than half (44%) agree that they don’t mind paying a little more for online clothes/fashion orders to be delivered using green delivery services (such as electric cars/bikes) that are kinder to the environment.

There is more support for non-financial measures, with 53% agreeing that they wouldn’t mind having slower deliveries for online orders if it meant that companies could cut the number of truck/van journeys by waiting until they could group together deliveries to the same area.

Notably, while a slim majority (53%) are open to buying second-hand used clothes because it’s better for the environment, far fewer (32%) are open to renting clothes rather than buying them for that reason.

Although slightly less than half (45%) feel that the fashion industry isn’t doing enough to become sustainable and environmentally friendly, there are ways that adults agree the industry can help them become savvier consumers. To begin with, 54% agree that working out which clothes/fashion items are sustainable or environmentally friendly is confusing, and 54% also agree that when they shop for clothes online they don’t know how to identify if an item of clothing/fashion is sustainable or not.

As such, almost two-thirds feel that retailers can help make sustainable shopping online easier by providing clearer information to make it easier to find products that are made in sustainable/environmentally friendly ways. Some 64% agree that retailers can help them by offering more clothes/fashion items that are sustainable/environmentally friendly, and 67% agree that retailers offering discounts on clothes that are sustainable/environmentally friendly would do the trick.

Other ways that most agree would help include automatically showing them sustainable versions of clothing that are similar to what they’re viewing online, allowing shoppers to personalize their experience so they’re only shown sustainable fashions, reducing the amount of packaging used in online deliveries, and selling ranges of second-hand/vintage clothes.

For more, download the report here.

About the Data: The results are based on a June survey of 1,002 US adults.

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