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Eco-responsibility fashion trend confirmed by consumers in recent study

By Andrea Byrne


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Despite the global Covid-19 crisis, fashion remains a consumption driver for shoppers in Europe, with a focus on eco-responsibility and local production. But, ‘revenge shopping’ remains high among the public which may threaten this sustainable objective.

Here are the main findings of a study conducted by the IFM-Première Vision Chair, led by Gildas Minvielle, head of the IFM (Institut Français de la Mode) Economic Observatory, on post-Covid fashion markets in Europe, presented as part of the "Digital Talks of Première Vision".

Nearly half of all European respondents ranked ecological matters as the most important factor in choosing and purchasing a product, while 58.5 percent prefer local production.

‘Revenge shopping’ phenomenon

With global uncertainty ongoing, 42 percent of women and 30.4 percent of men expect a reduction in their spending. While 13.7 percent of women and 17.1 percent of men anticipate an increase in their fashion buying.

88.9 percent of consumers questioned for the survey indicate being driven by ‘revenge shopping’, to make up for time lost during corona restrictions.

Europeans are interested in purchasing timeless products (83.7 percent) and nearly half of them (47.3 percent) want more expensive, but quality items. This desire could align with the trend of more thoughtful consumption, according to the research.

Following eco-responsibility, material is the driving force

Eco-responsible products are experiencing a huge increase in popularity among consumers polled for this particular research, 64.1 percent of Europeans (66.1 percent of the French and 76.2 percent of Italians) want to buy items from eco-responsible materials, and 30.1 percent are willing to spend more for them.

Among 18-34 year-olds, the percentage is even higher with 73.1 percent of Europeans wanting to buy from sustainable materials.

41.8 percent of Europeans refer to eco-responsible materials (new fibres, organic or recycled) as the driving force behind eco-friendly purchases, especially UK (43.8 percent) and Germany (45.6 percent) consumers.

This interest is shared by all young people in various European countries, and it could suggest that materials are linked to global health concerns, according to this study.

Among the 18-34 year-olds who do not plan to buy eco- friendly fashion, pricing remains a significant obstacle as 61.8 percent say they are waiting for more affordable prices and sales.

The second-hand market has increased in popularity in recent times, with 30.8 percent of Europeans and 43.3 percent of young people wanting to do so.

Traceability and ‘made in’ matters to consumers

European consumers are highly in favour of making production location labels mandatory, this would require the adoption of a European directive for all member countries.

In Italy, 73.5 percent of respondents pay attention to the manufacturing label and in France 63.5 percent of people do so. This makes sense as they are both countries with a long manufacturing tradition.

However, this is less important for people in Germany and the UK, as they are major clothing importers.

’Green’ shopping trend confirmed

Consumers favour a more thoughtful consumption, but they still remain attached to purchasing fashion items. Whether this is due to Covid-19, the outlook may continue to turn out positive once confidence is restored among the public.

Material is the driving force in the purchasing of eco-friendly fashion products, and the call for transparency opens up opportunities for many countries. 18-34 year-olds are the most willing to defend more thoughtful consumption.

Photo Credit: Première Vision

Première Vision
Sustainable Fashion