2018, Breakthrough Year for Sustainable Fashion
This year fashion will shift its focus to a circular economy concentrating on sustainability. We have seen this initiative transform segements of the entire fashion supplier chain. Companies are shifting resources to unlock technical innovations (ex. bio-nylon), enhance production capabilities, and restructure missions that are socially responsible. A study by Nielson argues that “66% of consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand.” This finding is strongly correlated with millennials world-wide. Companies must focus on their product's entire lifecycle (creation to disposal) to become an industry leader for sustainable brands and master of the circular economy.
One leader is the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which has started the 'Circular Fibers Initiative that follows the success behind the New Plastics Economy Initiative. The goals behind these projects are to focus on restoration and regeneration of a product at the end of its lifecycle. They advise companies to reduce waste by recycling and reusing old materials. We see this popularity in profitable brands like Patagonia and Adidas who are becoming early trend-setters for 2018.
Patagonia has acquired a large customer base by focusing on sustainability in product development, innovative campaigns, and initiatives. Patagonia offers a lifetime guarantee on their products to ensure proper disposal of used materials. Patagonia's social responsibility will attract more customer's who are environmentally conscious.
Adidas, another leader in sustainability, is improving ecological on-demand manufacturing and supply chain processes, which is evident in their newest 3D-printed sneakers. 3D printed materials will shorten production time and offer on-demand customization to consumers. Fashion companies who become environmental leaders will assume a competitive advantage over other brands.
We are excited to see breakthrough developments this year as brands become more socially responsible.