2018. The millennials are in their 20s. They are forming as adults and adopting the values that will drive their consumer behaviour for the rest of their lives. Millennials want to be associated with companies they can trust. How do they definite trust? They are looking for local, authentic, traceable, transparent and ethical brands.
We see the food trends reflect this strongly. We have heard plenty about the conditions in which animals are bred, the impact of pesticides and we believe we can do better. Vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise. Consumers are ready to pay premium prices for bio foods.
The available information is absorbed by consumers that choose to change their buyers behaviour towards more environmentally and health-conscious choices.
But what do consumers know about apparel? What do YOU know about the impact of the fashion industry?
From a business perspective, the evolution of the fashion industry in the past 20 years has been fascinating. Fast fashion has taken the retail world by storm and offered shoppers fashionable and cheap products which were purchased at a rate that made profits skyrock. Prices are so low that they even rule out the importance of quality.
However, consumers hold other values that cannot be wiped away by the low prices. Principles like safe working conditions, living wage pay and limiting the environmental impact of production are important for consumers and especially for the millennials among them. Nevertheless, the knowledge about the environmental impact of the fashion industry is limited and there's little information out there which are the companies that are following sustainable practices.
Where shall I go if I want to purchase a fashionable, reasonably priced dress sown by someone that received a living wage, made by materials that were produced without polluting the environment and depleting natural resources?
That's the tough question which we at blonde gone rogue want to answer. We want to "go rogue" on the fashion industry and create a platform to inform consumers about the potential impact of their purchases and offer them an ethical and transparent shopping solution.
We have come with a plan for a solution that addresses point #12 from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – Responsible Consumption and Production.
Our solution starts witn an educational and informative campaign called “The Cycle of the T-Shirt”. Its pivotal point is that consumers can have a positive impact even before they decide to dispose of an item and put it in the textile recycling bin. The campaign focuses on information about the environmental impact of the fashion industry and the effect of the consumer demand on increasing resources usage and pollution. We buy multiple times more clothes than 20 years ago, we wear them less and we dispose of them quicker.
This is where “The Cycle of the T-Shirt” comes to draw attention to the following points:
The second part of our solution is to give Amsterdam consumers a place to go once they choose to turn to ethical brands. We at blonde gone rogue are launching our first sustainable collection this autumn. We believe that establishing an Ethical Fashion Collective in Amsterdam can support local ethical brands in different aspects like reaching more customers, reducing cost and exchanging knowledge. At the same time the Collective will support consumers by giving them a trustworthy source for ethical fashion, hence reducing their research and verification costs and efforts.