I opened ineffably to bring eco-conscious fashion to San Diego and to educate my customers on the importance of sustainable fashion for a better future. I curate brands that don’t follow extreme trends but their designs last through multiple seasons. They work tirelessly to make a quality product, pay their workers fair wages and put the planet as a priority. The cost in making a truly sustainable product is much higher than your typical fast fashion item or even a ridiculously priced designer item.
The fast fashion cycle has put us, as consumers, into bad buying habits and expectations. We can change the way we look at our clothes by investing in them. As someone who believes in the products I sell and the brands behind them I believe we should change the expectation of products being marked down at the end of every season. Marking these products down will only devalue them. Why should they be expected to be marked down when it has the same value in your closet? We are then devaluing everything that went into making that product and having it be available to you.
If we are changing the way we view our clothing and how we consume, why can’t we change the expectation of markdowns?
Consumers have the power to make necessary changes happen in the fashion industry by using their dollar. We still have this relentless production cycle that gives retailers and brands no choice to mark items down to make room for another season. I’ve had numerous conversations over the past few months, with consumers and business owners alike, and one thing that kept coming up was the expectation to have markdowns at the end of each season. With Covid and the ever changing market, I find this has to change.
According to BCG and other research, 81% of US consumers believe that the pandemic will lead to a recession, and more than half worry about their personal finances and plan to spend less on fashion as a result. An increased focus on value is already evident—more than four in ten US consumers say that they expect brands to offer discounts or other promotions once stores reopen. On the other hand, it seems that the younger generations are willing to pay a higher price for quality sustainable products.
From an article on MDPI, respondents make quality one of the prerequisites for the purchase—with six out of 10 people preferring the quality of the garments and accessories purchased over the price—and prefer to buy sustainable products (37%) with the desire (not all, but many) to spend more to buy a responsible product. The data, based on a sample of 2424 respondents, of which 39% were born between 1980 and 1994 (Millennials) and 63% were born between 1995 and 2010 (Generation Z), show that it is precisely the youngest who are willing to face an increased price tag for a responsible product.
Did you ever buy a product then a few weeks later it went on sale? Then you think, well if I just waited? We have to change the expectation especially in the truly sustainable and ethical market. As consumers, we have to reprogram ourselves and decide to invest in high quality products no matter our generation. Conscious consumerism is the only way forward! Who agrees?
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