Conscious consumers demand data-backed green clothing claims

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that data is fast becoming a prerequisite for green claims by fashion brands and retailers, writes GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker, shows that between September 2019 and September 2020, 25% more people said retailers that place a greater emphasis on sustainability appealed the most to them. While a survey by Compare Ethics revealed 33% of consumers would doubt a brand’s sustainability claim, with a further 33% proceeding to research the claim to determine its validity.

Hannah Abdulla, Apparel Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Consumers are now far more switched on to unsustainable social and environmental practices. However, they are no longer willing to take green efforts at face value; they want proof.

“It’s no longer enough to say we source our cotton sustainably, or the production of our jeans uses three times less water than conventional methods. Today’s savvy consumer demands to know how that’s been measured and by who. It is more important than ever before that brands affiliate themselves with reputable, third-party firms that can provide that data.”

Most recently, sustainability technology company, Higg Co, unveiled its Open Data Portal, which provides access to the actual data behind social and environmental sustainability claims by global brands, retailers, and manufacturers. In the US, the Cotton Trust Protocol documents best management practices being used by American cotton farmers so that brands and retailers can measure progress and meet targets on sustainability.

Abdulla adds: “Data-rich programmes that allow the presentation of green efforts to consumers in a way that is backed up by evidence must quickly be embraced by brands, because greenwashing is going out of fashion at a record pace.”

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