Are Consumers Done with Fast Fashion?

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Are Consumers Done with Fast Fashion?

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Following the #Bangladesh tragedy, are consumers done w fast fashion? @BSRnews blog: http://bit.ly/15yfkWc

Summary

Both data and recent citizen activism suggest that consumers may finally recognize their role in sustainable fashion—and may be willing to pay the price for it. In the wake of the recent tragedy in Bangladesh, approximately 1.1 million people signed on to a campaign run by the advocacy group Avaaz pressuring retailers to invest in worker safety. But when consumers actually enter the dressing room, will a company’s social and environmental track record determine their choice of jeans?

For the full blog, click here.

Monday, June 10, 2013 - 11:00am

CAMPAIGN: BSR on Bangladesh: Lessons from Rana Plaza

CONTENT: Blog

By Elisa Niemtzow, Associate Director, Consumer Products, BSR

In the wake of the recent tragedy in Bangladesh, approximately 1.1 million people signed on to a campaign run by the advocacy group Avaaz pressuring retailers to invest in worker safety. Soon afterward, H&M, one of the brands targeted by the campaign, decided to sign a landmark fire and building safety accord. More than 40 global companies also have signed the accord, and activists are continuing to push the brands that have been reluctant to sign it.

The recent participation in these campaigns seems to indicate a shift in how consumers are thinking about the origins of their clothes, but when they actually enter the dressing room, will a company’s social and environmental track record determine their choice of jeans?

On the one hand, studies point to a rising consumer consciousness. The public relations firm Cone Communications released findings in late May that nine out of 10 consumers say they would boycott companies that are being irresponsible, and more than half of consumers in 10 countries say they have refused to buy a product in the past year because of perceived poor corporate behavior. A studyearlier this year found that a majority of consumers across six markets (Brazil, China, Germany, India, the U.K., and the United States) are seeking to reconcile their desire for shopping and style with their sense of responsibility for the environment and society.

These reports identify a rising new mainstream: style and social status-seeking “Aspirationals” who represent hundreds of millions of consumers and the largest consumer segment in Brazil, China, and India. More than any other segment, Aspirationals care about style (65 percent), social status (52 percent), and they equate shopping with happiness (70 percent). Yet they are also among the most likely to believe that we need to “consume a lot less to improve the environment for future generations” (73 percent), and feel “a sense of responsibility to society” (73 percent).

This survey echoes another report published by WRAP U.K. onsustainable fashion consumption. It points to an emerging class of consumers who are eager to change certain consumption habits for the better and are asking for guidance and support in doing so...

To continue reading this blog, including insights into how to inspire consumers to buy sustainably, how companies that are creating sustainable products have a competitive edge, and how BSR is helping apparel companies operate more responsibly, click here.

BSR works with its global network of more than 250 member companies to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting,research, and cross-sector collaboration. For more information, visit www.bsr.org.

Keywords: Responsible Production & Consumption | BSR | Bangladesh | Fashion & Apparel | Rana Plaza | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | Responsible Production & Consumption | Sustainable sourcing | consumer products | csr | fast fashion

CAMPAIGN: BSR on Bangladesh: Lessons from Rana Plaza

CONTENT: Blog

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