The eco-friendly clothing revolution is growing stronger by the day, says Jon Klein.
The customer has proved to be king. And queen. The choice of consumers is driving the movement for sustainable, eco-friendly material in their what they wear, whether it be apparel or footwear.
Today, industry players are asking each other what their brand's eco story is. Ultimately, the answer comes down to how brands tell their story or go about branding, versus compelling the consumer to participate in it through brand marketing.
Leading clothing and footwear brands such as H&M, Patagonia, GAP and Timberland are taking advantage of consumer preferences by listening to the voice of the consumer.
Whether they are offering haute couture or athleisure, functional or lifestyle products, brands are rapidly adopting and promoting eco-friendly material to strengthen their identity and highlight their social responsibility.
Eco branding vs Eco marketing
Today's consumers are curious, conscious and feel empowered when spending money even on branded products.
More and more consumers are looking for eco-friendly labels like all-natural and organic as key components influencing their brand loyalty and decision to purchase a product.
The chart says it all. Consumers are 10 per cent more likely to buy something labeled Natural rather than Sustainable even though sustainability, an on-going responsibility and process, is harder for a company to achieve.
There is a big difference between eco-friendly products and textile sustainability. So, have we educated or confused the consumer?
Ultimately, purchase decisions come down to how brands tell their story through branding, which vies with compelling the consumer to participate through marketing. Global brands are on the cutting edge of sustainable materials, textile technologies and design innovation will continue to lead the market, meet consumer demand and maintain consumer brand loyalty. An authentic, sustainable, eco-friendly clothing and footwear brand is not established overnight. It is a long-term commitment and process.
The future lies in a collaborative effort among the brand, material suppliers and manufactures. Each one of them plays a key role to ensure that products are sourced and developed to meet rising consumer expectations for green products in what they put close to their skin.
About the author:
Jon Klein is business development leader at PrimaLoft Aerogel insulation and has over 20 years in the textiles, apparel and footwear industries.