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Just-style management briefing: Eco-fashion retailers walk a fine line

 

Just-style management briefing: Eco-fashion retailers walk a fine line
just-style.com reported

Clothing and accessory consumers are fickle at the best of times, and trying to nail down their desires in the growing eco-fashion niche is proving especially difficult as the industry moves toward environmental responsibility.

On the one hand shoppers (especially young people in mature western markets) are increasingly aware of the environmental and social footprints of fashion and textile production. On the other, many seem unwilling to pay for the often higher costs that accompany a commitment to the environment and avoiding outright socio-economic exploitation.

And if they do have to pay for it, they need to know exactly what they are buying, and who they are helping, before they do.

"If the people understand the message they are happy to be giving. So if a business says we're giving 10% of our sales to a certain cause, and it's the right cause and its trendy, it will get picked up," said Alex Smith, a consultant with the Ethical Fashion Forum and founder of Considered Style fashion consultancy in the UK.

She said consumers tend to be aware of sustainability issues "in a very general sense" but still want the company to be transparent about its efforts before they are willing to pay for them.

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