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Eco-fashion brands: why data matters to consumers

By Partner


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Fashion is face to face with a time of reckoning, from #PayUp to #BLM to #FashionRevolution; ethical, environmental and social issues have taken centre stage. The usual playbook of taking a snap of an incredibly happy woman in traditional clothes, working away at the factory, coupled with vague sustainability promises is just not convincing people that a company is ethical. Transparency and credible data are becoming key to convince increasingly skeptical consumers that fashion brands are indeed changing and it’s high time brands took notice of this.

In the fashion world (especially sustainable fashion), the smiling woman in traditional clothes tells us that paying a premium for this dress, shirt, a skirt is making a difference in the world. But now consumers are asking: how much difference? And who is that?

Green Story was started with the wild dream of getting every consumer in the world to stop and ask “What’s my Impact?” before making a purchase, and empowering them to buy products that makes a difference-currently, 10 million consumers have been reached.

The conscious consumption movement has to stop pretending that a picture of a smiling woman is evidence of impact. Because it isn’t. Sustainable brands, especially in fashion, need to share their impact data. Why? The research done at Green Story shows that conscious consumers love knowing their impact in real and comparative terms. They love it so much that including the impact of a product next to key purchase points (such as the add to cart button) can boost your conversion and loyalty. And Green Story has the data from clients to prove it.

Why does it work?

It bridges the say-do gap. 84 percent of consumers globally consider themselves as “green”. That is, they want to buy green products, but less than 10 percent typically follow through. The big question that stops them is, “Why should we pay so much more for your product?”

As sustainable or ethical fashion costs more, sometimes a lot more, consumers are being invited into a simple equation: pay a premium + make a difference = feel good. Conscious consumers definitely want to feel good about their purchases but making the leap to a more expensive product can be tough. That space between wanting to make a difference and actually buying is called the say-do gap and it’s the biggest challenge facing sustainable fashion today.

And the key to overcoming that gap is showing consumers the data. Putting that “make a difference” feeling into clear, concrete numbers gives the consumer a direct look at exactly where and by how much they are making the world a better place.

Given the amount of green washing that’s in the industry (from fake “vegan” bags to “recycled but not recycled” clothing), shoppers no longer have the luxury of assuming that good things are happening when making a purchase. We as consumers need to know exactly how and where that impact is happening so we can get strategic and targeted with our efforts. The ones that are truly sustainable brands are poised to be the leaders in data-driven conscious consumption.

For a long time, consumers pretended that a photo of a smiling happy woman in traditional dress was evidence, and enabled companies to get away with it. This enabled them to do less and diluted the impact of everyone dedicated to the conscious consumption movement. The last few months have seen a seismic shift in this paradigm. Shoppers are no longer content to let the brand tell them they’re sustainable. They want to explore, to understand, and find credible data before they believe in a brand’s claims. Knowing the face of the people we are supporting helps us feel connected. It’s time to up our game. It’s time to get the data. It’s time for brands to show the numbers.

Green Story (www.greenstory.ca) was founded with the vision of getting every consumer in the world to ask “What’s my impact?” before they make a purchase. By using credible data, an advanced technology platform and easy to understand visuals, Green Story transforms the customer experience every step of the way by showing the positive impact a customer can make by choosing green products. The company works with over 80 brands in 15 countries to calculate and show their impact to millions of consumers worldwide.

Photos: courtesy of Green Story

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