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CONSUMER SURVEY KEY FINDINGS DECEMBER 2020 A survey of EU consumer attitudes to sustainability and supply chain transparency in the fashion industry.


FASHION REVOLUTION | CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS

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FASHION REVOLUTION | CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS

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ABOUT THIS REPORT Fashion Revolution commissioned a survey of 5,000 people aged 16-75 in the five largest European markets, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, to find out how supply chain transparency and sustainability impacts EU consumers’ purchasing decisions when shopping for clothing, accessories and shoes.

5000

16 - 75

RESPONDENTS

AGES

We conducted our first ever consumer survey in 2018 among 5,000* people aged 16-75 in the five largest European markets – Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK. The research aimed to discover what information consumers would like fashion brands to share when it comes to social and environmental impacts and to better understand what roles consumers think that governments and laws should play in ensuring clothing is sustainably produced. Results showed that consumers were deeply concerned and wanted fashion brands and governments to step up their efforts to protect the environment and tackle social challenges along global supply chains.

* The exact base was 5,509 respondents in 2018.

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COUNTRIES

In August 2020, a follow-up survey was carried out with the same number† of respondents in the same countries to learn about their shopping behaviour in the last twelve months and current views on some of fashion’s most pressing social and environmental issues. The findings show that concerns about social and environmental issues in the fashion industry have grown among consumers in all five countries. This report presents the full survey results and detailed analysis by country, age, gender and income. To view the full results, please see here.

The exact base was 5,446 respondents in 2020.


FASHION REVOLUTION | CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS

Consumers are calling on fashion brands and governments to ensure transparency and respect for human rights and the environment along supply chains. According to survey results, 75% of people agreed that fashion brands should do more to improve the lives of the women making their clothes (incl. shoes and accessories), up from 72% in 2018. 69% of people would like to know how their clothes were manufactured, in comparison to 59% in 2018 – indicating that people want more transparency from brands. At the same time, consumers agreed that governments have a role to play in ensuring clothing is produced sustainably (70%) and that governments should make it easier to purchase clothing made in a sustainable way (71%).

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The majority of people wear their clothes for at least a few years and pass on unwanted clothes to others to use, but fewer say they avoid buying new clothes and repair their damaged clothes. 62% of people say they wear their clothes for at least a few years. When you compare countries, interestingly, this is the case for 71% of Brits compared to just 39% of Italians. On the other hand, 48% of people wear their clothes until they fall apart, but only 36% of Germans agreed, the lowest among all five countries. At the same time, 9% of Italians compared to 16% of respondents across all countries said they avoid buying new clothes – indicating that perhaps Italians care less than other European consumers about buying less and wearing clothes longer. Meanwhile, 8% of people aged 16-24 say they only wear clothes that are ‘in fashion’ compared to 4% of respondents across all countries. 53% of people pass on their unwanted clothes to others for reuse, with 62% of women compared to 44% of men saying they do this. Washing at 30°C or lower can dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of our clothes, yet less than half of respondents (40%) do this. Interestingly, there is a big difference among ages groups, where only 25% of those aged 16-24, the lowest percentage, compared to 45% of those aged 55-75, the highest percentage, say they wash their clothes at 30°C or lower. We wonder whether this may indicate a lack of awareness about clothing care among younger generations.


FASHION REVOLUTION | CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS

People want to buy clothes made without harming the environment, animals, workers or consumers. 37% of respondents said it’s important that the clothing they buy is produced without using harmful chemicals for the consumer, rising to 51% among Italian respondents. Meanwhile, one out of three people said it’s important to buy clothing made by workers paid a fair living wage, rising to 43% of Brits. When it comes to buying clothes made without harming animals, this was important for 29% of respondents, with 34% of women compared to 24% of men. More people this year (14%) said it’s important that the clothing they buy is produced locally compared to our 2018 survey (10%). The majority of people think it is important that fashion brands have ethical (72%) and sustainability (80%) certifications. Ethical certifications were particularly important among Italians (82%) and Spaniards (80%), while sustainability certifications were even more important to Italians (87%) and Spaniards (82%), compared to respondents in other countries. The majority of people also want fashion brands to provide detailed information about product care and repair (79%), product environmental impacts (78%) and wages and working conditions for people in the supply chain (70%).

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In the last 12 months, more consumers have tried to purchase clothes at a reduced price in the sale than those that have tried to purchase clothing made in an environmentally or socially responsible way. 39% of respondents said they tried to buy clothes in a sale, with nearly half of Italians (49%) compared to 32% of Germans reporting this. Interestingly, more people aged 35-44 than any other age group (44%) said they have tried to buy clothes at a reduced price. 19% of people have tried to buy clothing made in an environmentally responsible way and 21% in a socially responsible way. In both cases, results were highest among women and younger consumers aged 16-24. Although the majority of respondents say they want brands to be transparent, there still appears to be a disconnect when it comes to what factors are driving people’s intentions when purchasing clothes. Surprisingly, only 14% of people tried to purchase second-hand clothing instead of new, with twice as many women compared to men and 19% of those in the highest income bracket (earning over €60,000 / £55,000). On a more positive note, 31% of people have tried to purchase clothes that are designed for durability, and only 4% said they only wear clothes that are ‘in fashion’ – suggesting that perhaps quick trends are less important to people than styles that last longer than one season. However, only 9% haven’t bought any clothing in the last 12 months.


FASHION REVOLUTION | CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS

How many people said it is important that the clothing (incl. shoes and accessories) they buy is made... Without using child labour 45% Without using harmful chemicals to the consumer 37% By workers paid a fair, living wage 33% In a way that is not harmful to the environment 33% Without harming animals 29% In safe working conditions 22% Produced locally 14% Using recycled materials 11% From materials that have been produced organically 9%

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FASHION REVOLUTION | CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS

When it comes to peoples’ own wardrobes, how many people say they... Wear clothes for at least a few years 62% Pass on unwanted clothes to someone else to use 53% Wash clothes only when dirty 48% Wear clothes until they fall apart 48% Wash clothes at 30C or lower 40% Repair clothes if they are damaged 40% Recycle their clothes 37% Always wash their clothes after one wear 17% Avoid buying new clothes 9% Only wear clothes that are ‘in fashion’ 4% Would never be seen wearing an item more than once 2%

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FASHION REVOLUTION | CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS

In the last 12 months, how many people have tried to purchase clothes in the following ways... At a reduced price in a sale 39% Designed for durability 31% Made in an environmentally sustainable way 21% Made in a socially responsible way 19% Certified as Fair Trade 16% Second-hand rather than new clothing 14% Certified as Organic 11% Not purchased any clothing at all 9% Made from recycled materials 8%

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FASHION REVOLUTION | CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS

When choosing a clothing brand to buy from, how many consumers agreed that it is important for brands to... Have sustainability certifications 80% Provide detailed information about product care and repair 79% Share detailed information about the environmental impacts of their products 78% Publish their social and environmental policies 75% Have ethical certifications 72% Provide a service to take back unwanted clothes for reuse or recycling 71% Share detailed information about wages and working conditions of the people in their supply chain 70%

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FASHION REVOLUTION | CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS

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How many consumers are interested in learning about... What environmental policies clothing companies have in place 66% What clothing companies do to maintain or improve diversity and inclusion within their business 61% What clothing companies do to reduce their waste 69%

When it comes to supply chain transparency, people agree that fashion brands should publish‌ The factories used to manufacture their clothes 74% The suppliers used to source the fabrics and raw materials used in their clothes 73%


FASHION REVOLUTION | CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS

How consumers view the role of the government‌ I feel the government has a role to play in ensuring clothing is sustainably produced 70% I feel the government should make it easier to purchase clothing produced in a sustainable way 71%

How many people agreed that fashion brands should be required by law to... Respect the human rights of everybody involved in making their products 79% Protect the environment at every stage of making and selling their products 76% Say if they are paying the workers who make their products a fair, living wage 75% Provide information about the environmental impacts of their business 75% Provide information about the social impacts of their business 72%

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FASHION REVOLUTION | CONSUMER SURVEY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS

ABOUT THE RESEARCH AND METHODOLOGY This survey was conducted as part of an endline study in the ‘Trade Fair, Live Fair’ project 2017-2020, which is funded by the European Commission and brings together 31 partners from the Fair Trade community across Europe, including Fashion Revolution, Fairtrade International, Fairtrade Foundation, World Fair Trade Organisation, Fair Trade Advocacy Office, among others. Together, we are undertaking a wide range of awareness raising and public mobilisation actions to reach out to 49 million EU citizens: The overall aim is to directly contribute to meeting target 12.8 of the SDGs framework: “ensure that, by 2030, people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.” To read the 2018 baseline consumer survey, please visit here. The research was conducted on i:omnibus, Ipsos MORI’s online Omnibus, in August 2020. Online interviews were carried out amongst 5,000 adults aged 16-75 in the five largest European consumer markets: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The data has been weighted to the known population profile by age, gender, region, working status and social grade to be nationally representative and reflect the adult population of the UK. All data findings in this report represent the percentage of those who answered ‘very or somewhat important’ and ‘strongly or somewhat agreed’.

CREDITS This survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI on the behalf of Fashion Revolution in August 2020. The data was collated and analysed by Sienna Somers, Policy and Research Coordinator. The report was written by Sarah Ditty, Global Policy Director, and designed by Emily Sear, Head of Design and Maria Maleh, Junior Designer at Fashion Revolution. www.fashionrevolution.org © Fashion Revolution CIC December 2020. All rights reserved. This document is not to be copied or adapted without permission from Fashion Revolution CIC.

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Profile for Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution Consumer Survey 2020 - Key Findings  

The key findings from the full Consumer Survey Report, in which Fashion Revolution commissioned a survey of 5,000 people aged 16-75 in the f...

Fashion Revolution Consumer Survey 2020 - Key Findings  

The key findings from the full Consumer Survey Report, in which Fashion Revolution commissioned a survey of 5,000 people aged 16-75 in the f...