Facing Fashion and Consumption Relationship
The Paradox of Consciousness and Action
Generation Z is said to be highly interested in sustainability. According to First Insight, an American research firm, 75% of them consider it an important factor when buying things. Similarly, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers are also showing increasing interest in sustainability in their consumption.
On the other hand, their awareness is not always reflected in their consumption behavior. The fast fashion industry, in particular, has experienced growth in the Corona Disaster. What is it that causes the discrepancy between our consciousness and our behavior?
According to a study by SFF (The Sustainable Fashion Forum), price is a major factor. Especially for the younger generation, an $8 dress or a $3 T-shirt would be an attractive option. Another factor is the lack of size accessibility. Even if they have enough money, if they cannot find a size that fits them, they are inevitably forced to choose fast fashion, which offers a wide range of sizes.
Other compounding factors include the difficulty in determining whether a product is truly sustainable and the fact that “brands you know” are a major purchasing factor. There may not be a single solution to these, but we would like to explore some multifaceted approaches that we can consider.
To face the consumption of sustainable products
Sustainable products are more expensive than conventional products for a variety of reasons, but there are a few tips to help you avoid viewing this as a negative. First, change the mindset of always seeking the lowest-priced product. By purchasing sustainable products, you can reduce your expenses in the long run and potentially save money as a result. Another option is to switch to sustainable consumables for personal care. For example, replacing menstrual napkins that must be purchased repeatedly with reusable napkins and menstrual cups not only saves money, but also reduces environmental impact.
A simple indicator to check the sustainability of a product
When we are trying to choose an environmentally conscious product, one of the most important indicators that a product is truly sustainable is whether it has been certified by a third party. Third parties are organizations, such as non-profit organizations, that evaluate and scrutinize the environmental impact of products. These organizations act as third parties to determine whether a company’s products are truly sustainable and certify them as such. This allows us, the consumers, to choose sustainable products based on a single criterion: third-party certification.
Fashion Week, Are you really inclusive?
According to Vogue Business data, 219 shows were held during Fashion Week in Milan, New York, London and Paris for the 2023AW season. Of the 9,137 looks shown at the shows, only 0.6% were plus size (US 14+), 3.8% were mid-size (US (US 6~12)), and 95.6% of the looks shown at the shows were in sizes US 0~4. There is still no inclusive movement toward size on the runway.
Fashion Industry and Greenwashing
Today, when a brand’s core marketing and sustainability values are not aligned with actual business practices, it is known as greenwashing. Fifty-nine percent of environmental claims are said to be misleading or unfounded. Brands from all sectors of the industry have been accused of greenwashing, but a great deal of attention has been paid to brands in the fast fashion and high street sectors.