Consumer’s behaviors in purchasing and in using products have changed in pursuit of a sustainable lifestyle. For sustainable fashion to success as a business model, products must meet or exceed both market regulations and consumer expectations. To demonstrate this, products must be verified to demonstrate their quality, durability and versatility.
Jean-Paul Gaultier’s announcement of his retirement from the world of haute couture, partly because of the “ridiculous” levels of waste produced in fashion industry he had attacked in 2019, signals a shift towards more sustainable fashion choices. This phenomenon is not only industry based. Consumers are searching for sustainable products – 19% of fashion related online searches now incorporate terms such as environment, sustainability and ethics. Consumer demand is increasing as a fuller understanding of some industry practices on the environment become better known.
WRAP estimates that the UK alone disposes of GBP 140 million of clothing into landfill every year. On a global scale, that could mean around USD 500 billion of value is lost every year due to clothing underutilization, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. At the same time, biodegradable and non-biodegradable chemical substances carried on disposed clothing are being discharged into the environment, leading to calls for reductions in the use and disposal of harmful chemicals when manufacturing textiles and footwear. Underutilization of clothing also indicates significant waste of production costs in terms of water, energy, chemicals, labor, and so on
While consumers are calling for more sustainable clothing options, they still want high quality products. For manufacturers, the model for sustainable clothing is successful because it relies on fewer styles that cover a variety of outfits and that can be worn for multiple purposes. High quality products last longer and so consumers are happy to pay more. Better quality and less quantity also mean lower incidental costs for manufacturers, in terms of shipping, storage, maintenance, etc. and a reduction in input costs (water, chemicals, electricity, etc.). Creating clothing in this fashion allows manufacturers to ultimately increase their margins.
To succeed in the sustainable clothing market, products need to conform to, or exceed, market regulations and consumer expectations. Happy consumers will have greater loyalty to a brand that improves its reputation.
SGS offers a full range of testing and inspection solutions to help manufacturers and brands gain the most from their textile and footwear products. Their solutions ensure a high level of conformity for businesses, creating products that satisfy consumers and demonstrate best commitment on environment and sustainability.
SGS Softlines Services
SGS has a worldwide network of over 40 state-of-the-art laboratories specializing in testing of apparel, footwear and home textiles. Their committed team is drawn from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, allowing them to carry out a comprehensive range of chemical, material, colorfastness &shrinkage, physical & mechanical, and flammability testing. SGS helps companies ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Learn more about SGS’s Softlines Services.
more information, please contact:
Min Zhu, Ph.D.
Consumer and Retail Services
US & Canada Softlines, Technical Director
SGS North America, Inc.
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 94,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.