The pandemic has driven changes in consumer behavior patterns, especially in the realm of sustainable fashion. Today, consumers have expectations and demand more from brands and businesses.
A study by McKinsey revealed that 5 percent of shoppers agreed that they had made significant changes to their lifestyle to reduce their environmental impact. Meanwhile, 15 percent of consumers expect to buy clothes that are more environmentally and socially friendly.
Consumers who are aware of sustainable fashion will continue to encourage brands and businesses to produce clothing that is more environmentally friendly and more responsible throughout 2021.
Felix Soni, Head of Textiles, Zilingo Indonesia said, "Brands and businesses that can change mission orientation and business models to a more sustainable direction will reach more customers than ever before.
“As a one-stop business solution platform, Zilingo Trade is ready to support more companies who want to access and adopt sustainable textiles. As a testament to our commitment, we have partnered with the world's largest supplier of food and sustainable textiles, Toyoshima, so brands, retailers and businesses across Indonesia can now obtain this line of sustainable fabrics and textiles digitally on zilingotrade.id," he said.
Fashion businesses can also turn to more innovative ways to reduce stock and re-integrate social value into their products, such as accelerating the birth of sustainability trends. The Zilingo Indonesia Communications Department, has gathered insights on sustainability trends for Indonesian brands and businesses that need attention entering the third quarter of 2021:
1 Consumers prefer comfortable casual clothes as uniforms
The ongoing pandemic has forced people to stay at home - the lack of socialization and the proliferation of virtual gatherings are starting to make the "Work From Home" uniform a choice of clothing that is comfortable but still looks professional in front of the camera to wear to work during the week.
Clothing such as loungewear with the same color or pattern top and bottom can be used in a more flexible way, can be used as work clothes but still comfortable to wear at home. The rise of cotton-based clothing is also seen in various types of clothing, because this material is considered the most comfortable to wear to work or relax at home. Hence, brands and businesses need to focus on producing the most comfortable casual collections possible.
2 Brands are starting to attract consumers through upcycling
Upcycling is a growing trend and is one of the most sustainable things that can be done for fashion products. Because upcycling makes use of an existing item, it often uses very few resources in its manufacture and actually makes the 'unwanted' item less waste.
This recycling can increase brand creativity in making unique items. Instead of buying many different clothes for one collection. By creating capsule wardrobes from previous collections, brands and businesses can transform old products into something new. As a result, this will reduce fashion waste and create limited edition products that customers can buy.
3 Consumers prefer local brands to support national economic recovery
Shopping locally and supporting local communities from home are trends that are likely to persist in 2021 and beyond. Borders are still closed and the difficult situation for local businesses has brought Indonesians together to work together to help the local community.
Local businesses can also leverage digital strategies to connect with consumers across multiple channels. As Indonesians stay at home and the consumption of their content increases on mobile devices and computers, it is important for brands and businesses to consider how to reach consumers on social media and through online advertising.
4 Consumers expect the brands they support to be socially responsible
Social impact is one area that Indonesian brands and businesses need to improve. Brands need to be more open about their suppliers' information and the actions they take to ensure ethical working conditions and fair wages. Businesses also need to be more aware of environmental impacts at every design stage.
Especially when it comes to the fashion industry, which is mostly done offline, when the pandemic hit, many sourcing activities had to be done online, such as searching for raw materials, production, delivery, and storage. Businesses need to minimize their impact on the environment while helping consumers to do the same.
5 Businesses need to value inclusivity and embrace diversity
The terms diversity and inclusivity have been used for years in the ethical fashion industry as concerns for environmental justice, racial inequality, and cultural appropriation are finally brought to the forefront for both businesses and consumers.
Businesses who market their products on models that look different - in body size, skin tone, age, shape, personality - are gaining more traction than ever. Visual marketing also plays an important role in portraying the diversity of each piece of fashion for consumers to choose from before they decide to buy.