In the USA, 86% of consumers believe sustainability is a good goal, yet nearly half (48%) don’t know how or where to find sustainable clothes and 42% are confused about what makes clothing sustainable. These are the findings of a new survey of 2,000 teenagers and adults in the USA from biotechnology company Genomatica Inc., San Diego, CA/USA, set out to understand consumers’ awareness, perspectives and behaviors around sustainability in fashion.
Consumers are aware of environmental issues in the fashion industry. Nearly 3 in 4 (72%) consumers have heard of environmental sustainability issues in the fashion industry, listing excess consumption, carbon emissions and water pollution from dye processes as issues they're aware of. 51% believe that Americans’ clothing purchases each year result in substantial greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, the pandemic may have helped grow consumer awareness: 38% who are aware of sustainability issues in fashion have only become aware of them over the past year.
Consumers want to make better choices, but they are confused about what makes clothing sustainable and how or where to find it.
How clothing is made and what it is made from are important considerations for consumers. Other findings from the Genomatica study conclude: Consumers are on the lookout for “greenwashing” in the fashion industry, but they still want brands to do the legwork to make sustainable choices easier. Also, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed consumer purchasing behaviors around clothing.