Shoppers are now deciding what to buy based on how sustainable a retailer is.
A study of 2,000 adults found 49 per cent would be put off buying from a shop or business if they knew they, or the brands they stocked, weren’t environmentally friendly.
It also emerged two-thirds of ‘Generation Z’ shoppers aged 18-24 are more concerned about climate change and sustainability issues than they were just one year ago.
And more than three-quarters of this age group say wanting products which reduce waste is their biggest environmental concern when choosing what to buy.
The research was commissioned by department store Selfridges, as part of the brand’s wider sustainability programme, which has also seen cult fashion marketplace, Depop, open a pop-up in store – the platform’s first branded retail space in the UK.
Selfridges’ head of sustainability, Daniella Vega, said:
“This survey data supports our understanding of our youngest adult fashion shoppers, for whom there is no compromise when it comes to seeking out style that doesn’t harm the planet. “We are committed to buying better and inspiring change so that our customers can do the same.”
The research also found that choosing second-hand fashion is most popular with Gen Z, with more than half either often or sometimes shopping for second-hand and vintage clothing – far more than those aged 45 or older.
But three quarters of adults believe retailers have more work to do to educate consumers to shop more sustainability.
Seven in 10 believe retailers should be banning single-use plastic items like water bottles or straws.
And 60 per cent want to see stores wiping out their reliance on non-recyclable plastic packaging on beauty products.
However, one in 10 of those polled, via OnePoll, also believe it’s ‘too hard’ to buy refillable beauty products, or products made from recycled materials.
The Depop focus for September is to ‘Recreate the New: Fashioned for the Planet’ – and focuses on sustainability, featuring sellers who advocate for reducing fashion’s global impact and reflect Selfridges’ prioritisation of providing sustainable and ethical fashion choices for its shoppers.
Selfridges’ Daniella Vega, added:
“We are excited to be taking the lead in sustainable fashion by this first-of-its-kind collaboration with Depop in the UK. “Selfridges takes seriously its responsibility to protect the environment and our Buying Better Inspiring Change initiative always looks for ways to push the boundaries in luxury retail – to challenge the norm.
Peter Semple, Depop’s chief marketing officer, said:
“Sustainability is changing the landscape of fashion and the Depop community is helping to define this movement. “Depop’s mission is to empower the next generation to transform fashion. “Our collaboration with Selfridges is an exciting opportunity for members of our community to extend their reach offline, take their business to the next level, and change perceptions of the industry’s potential.”
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