Ethical Fashion: New Research Reveals Consumers Want Brands and Government To Do More
New research compiled by Fashion Revolution released this week (21st November 2018) reveals that consumers across the five largest EU markets want to know more about the social and environmental impacts of their garments when shopping for clothes, and they expect fashion brands and governments to be doing more to address these issues.
The majority of people think that fashion brands should reduce their long-term impacts on the world by addressing global poverty, climate change, environmental protection and gender inequality – all issues covered by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Environmental factors were considered most important (85% listing climate change and 88% environmental protection in order of importance), with social issues not far behind (84% considered it important for fashion brands to address global poverty and 77% said gender inequality is important).
The majority of people (68%) agree that the government has a role to play in ensuring that clothing, including shoes and accessories, is sustainably produced. The majority of people also agree that fashion brands should be required by law to:
- respect the human rights of everybody involved in making their product (77%)
- protect the environment at every stage of making their products (75%)
- provide information about the social impacts of their business (68%)
- provide information about the environmental impacts of their business (72%)
- say if they are paying the workers who make their products a fair, living wage (72%)
Significantly, 72% of people said that fashion brands should do more to improve the lives of women making their clothes, shoes or accessories, while more female consumers surveyed (81%) think it is important that fashion brands tackle gender inequality than their male counterparts (72%).
Data shows that more women (36%) than men (27%) said buying clothes made without harming animals was important.
More Generation Z and Millennials (respondents ages 16-34) said they consider social impacts when buying clothes than older generations.
More people in the UK said that buying clothes made by workers being paid a fair, living wage was important to them than in any other country surveyed, but only 5% of Brits consider clothes being produced locally to be important, compared to 14% in France and Spain.
Sarah Ditty, Fashion Revolution Policy Director said: “The pace of change by the fashion industry simply isn’t moving fast enough, and we can see this reflected in consumer attitudes. People have an urgent, emotional desire to know more about how their clothes are made, and that they haven’t harmed the environment, the people who made them nor were tested on animals. And they want governments to hold brands and retailers to account to ensure this happens.”
“We’d like the general public, companies and governments to use our research to help drive change in the fashion industry, to better influence their peers to care more about social and environmental issues in fashion and start asking vital questions about the impacts of our clothing.”
Fashion Revolution is benchmarking consumer attitudes to ethical consumption and will track and report change over three years.
Click the link to find out more about Fashion-Enter’s ethically run factory based in North London.