Sustainability has become an important part of running a business. In their State of Fashion report, Business of Fashion and analysts at McKinsey included sustainability as one of the ‘trends’ that would continue to shape the future of the industry.
Consumers are a large part of driving this forward –particularly as their interest in buying from businesses that do good grows. Besides inspiring change, consumers play a crucial role in continuing any business’ sustainability legacy. This is particularly true in fashion; where up to 80% of (some) environmental and social impacts of clothing are realised post sale. It is therefore important for businesses to equip their customers with information (and in some cases resources) to ensure that products continue to have positive impacts beyond the atelier.
Engaging customers on sustainability has the added benefits of forging better relationships with customers through two-way communication and increasing brand loyalty as customers become more aware of the good that products do. It also provides the opportunity for targeted and more effective sustainability related innovation within the business. Given the diversity amongst consumers, it is impossible to suggest a singular means of communicating effectively with customers.
This guide therefore sets out to provide practical guidance on how any fashion business can select the most beneficial way to keep their customers or clients informed on sustainability. Four steps have been developed and outlined to assist businesses regardless of their size, budget and sustainability activity determine the best means of talking to customers about sustainability: