Sustainable fashion is a trend that’s here to stay, and the environment is better off for it. Business Insider recently reported that at least 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans annually – so much plastic that a dutch inventor named Boyan Slat has engineered a 2,000 foot long plastic cleaning device to reduce plastics contamination of the Earth’s seas.
Fashion manufacturing has always generated a significant amount of waste, but that’s slowly shifting.
Designer Recycling to the Rescue
Runways across the globe have gradually begun to feature more and more sustainable fashions made from recycled materials.
In fact, MakersValley is proud to highlight one of our own Makers, Nicole Zizi of Nicole Zizi Studios, who used MakersValley to create a jacket made from post-consumer plastics obtained from Haiti and Honduras.
Nicole used images of her sustainably fashioned jacket (shared by her Italian manufacturer, to her project Timeline) to highlight her unique, eco-friendly product design in her studio’s blog. By doing so, she not only peaked interest in her creation by presenting a snapshot of what was coming and how it was made, but she also made a case for how recycled materials can be used to create a product that stands out from competing fashion labels and stands up for a cause.
Customers Would Choose Sustainable
Despite the fact that sustainable products benefit the environment, customers, and fashion brands, recent studies point to consumers saying two factors prevented them from shopping sustainable:
Knowledge of a brand’s sustainability commitment
Fashion brands that have made the leap to take their fabrics and other production materials in a sustainable direction would benefit from branding themselves as a sustainable brand and leveraging that quality in their marketing. As much as fashion entrepreneurs might like for their customers to read their mission statements or visit the "all about sustainability" page on their website, the message must become a can’t miss feature.
We recommend doing this in at least one of the following three ways:
Follow Nicole Zizi’s example, and share images of your sustainable product as it’s being made, with information on what eco-friendly fabrics and materials your manufacturer is using to make it.
Use social media, in-store signage, your website, etc. to promote that your brand and your products are sustainable. You may feel like you’re beating customers over the head with your message, but trust us! No one sees every post you put out or every product, so it’s important to stay visible and consistent.
If only a few of your products are sustainable (hey, you’ve got to start somewhere!) consider working with a graphic designer to create your very own sustainable product emblem. Use the emblem on your physical product hang tags and as an icon on your online shop products and social media product posts.
If your brand is sustainable, don’t be shy! Shout it from the rooftops, and see how it can enhance the conversation and help you discover your most loyal customers.
St. Louis native Jessica Donovan enjoys 3 things: tacos, cute animals, and creating content that informs, inspires, and connects people to a democratized & transparent fashion manufacturing experience.