Sustainable Marketing in Fashion

Have you ever spent money on something because you knew it was locally sourced, 100% recyclable or you admire the sustainable actions a company takes? Then you most likely have experienced some sort of sustainable marketing.

So what exactly is Sustainable Marketing?

“An organization should meet the needs of its present consumers without compromising the ability of future generations to fulfil their own needs.” 

-by Philip Kotler an American marketing author and consultant that helped create the field of social marketing.

Sustainable marketing is a type of marketing that promotes the environment and socially responsible products, as well as brand values. It aims to improve the quality of life by promoting products, services, and ideas that don’t harm the environment. It also involves educating consumers, encouraging them to make informed decisions when purchasing a product and reflecting on whether they really need it. 

Sustainable marketing is important now more than ever with nearly 63% of global consumers preferring to purchase products and services from companies that stand for a purpose that reflects on their values and beliefs. Consumers are also more likely to believe that their protest actions, including boycotting brands or calling them out on social media, can make a difference in company behaviour.

What about Sustainable Marketing within Fashion?

For decades fashion companies and especially fast fashion brands have been promoting fast changing trends that encourage consumers to purchase more. However, they are also now facing a shift towards more sustainable practices. Sustainability strategies, therefore, also include what and when companies choose to promote to their customers. This often also means rethinking and changing relationships with influencers and marketing strategies. The focus here is put on sharing rather than a novelty. 

It is about educating and sharing knowledge with consumers. 

‘The most sustainable messages educate consumers rather than peddling products’ say Birdsong London co-founder Sophie Slater in Vogue Fashion

Transparency is a big keyword here. If a brand can not be transparent about its sustainable positioning it can quickly become problematic and a means of greenwashing

There is a fine line between promoting sustainability and greenwashing, especially when it comes to fashion. Buzzwords such as ‘green’, ‘ethical’ or ‘eco-friendly’ easily confuse well-meaning consumers and slow the progress of sustainability within fashion in general. Due to no legal regulations here, the fashion industry has a big loophole when using these words, not like within the food industry. 

Being sustainable as a company or even as an individual, is a journey, Nobody and for sure no brand is perfect and therefore transparency matters.

What is the importance of influencer?

There is no denying that influencers have a big impact on consumers and are one of the most fast-growing marketing channels. 

More influencers are rethinking the way they portray consumerism on their account, from cutting the wish to buy more to researching and promoting more sustainable brands. The relationship between companies and influencers needs to be redefined, too. One great example here is  Birdsong London that works with long-term ambassadors that share their views and values. Their main goal is to provide living-wage jobs for women, especially in London. Therefore, ambassadors do not receive gifts but can purchase their clothes at cost price. In that way, there is no obligation for them to post about their clothes.
Influencers have the chance to push a sustainable agenda. Not only do 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations but also 40% make purchases after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. If consumers feel confident about an influencer's recommendation, they are more likely to make or not make a purchase. 

How does Kleiderly contribute?

At Kleiderly, we believe that knowledge and transparency are the keys to sustainability. This is why, besides recycling clothing waste into a sustainable plastic alternative, we want to spread awareness about clothing waste, plastic waste and the environmental problems caused by them. 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Kotler
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181205005061/en/Majority-Consumers-Buying-Companies-Stand-Issues-Care
https://www.marketingdive.com/news/63-of-consumers-prefer-to-purchase-from-purpose-driven-brands-study-finds/543712/
http://sophieavalonslater.com/
https://www.voguebusiness.com/sustainability/how-can-fashion-make-marketing-more-sustainable
https://www.kleiderly.com/our-blog/greenwashing-explained
https://birdsong.london/
http://www.ion.co/twitter-has-released-a-report-showing-consumers-seek-product-recommendations-from-influencers-almost-as-much-as-they-do-from-friends

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