French consumers ask for more education on sustainable fashion #294


Sustainable fashion has a bright future ahead of it… if it communicates. The Haute école de conseil en image and the cabinet Thotaim, specialized in CSR strategy, have studied the consumption trends of the French. They unveil their national survey with results showing many opportunities but also challenges for this sector.

According to this study, 64% of respondents from a representative panel of the French population, declare having consumed ethical fashion items this year. A trend boosted by climate and environmental issues, and which divides the population into several consumer profiles: 33.90% of them define themselves as “consom’actors” and 43.70% as “conscious consumers”. Only 22.40% of the respondents consume in a traditional way, without any concern about their purchases.

Price remains an important criteria (even essential, the IFM noting that it was for 70% of consumers the first element examined). However, the study shows that the fact that brands communicate clearly on the materials used and the places of production is considered an important or even fundamental criteria for 80.33% of french. While being transparent about the remuneration and working conditions of the workforce, they can then justify their prices and meet the criteria of “fair price” to consumers.

If these criteria are not yet the trigger for consumers, the vast majority are aware of the issues involved. Except that, the study underlines, they regret the lack of information about the responsible fashion sector.

Indeed, 92.35% of respondents believe they are not sufficiently informed about the issues of this industry. A lack of knowledge that is felt at the level of ethical certifications: among the respondents, 84% do not know the GOTS label and 60% the Oeko-Tex label. Only the “Origine France Garantie” certification remains relatively well known, with 70% of people who consume ethical fashion items declaring that they know about it.

This lack of information is also felt around the concept of greenwashing, which remains rather vague for French consumers. 60.11% of them say they are familiar with the term, but the vast majority admit that they do not know how to recognize this technique when it is used by brands: “many respondents cited H&M and its ‘Conscious’ collection as an ethical brand. We therefore find the importance of materials in the choice of an “ethical” garment, although we lose the criterion of traceability and respect for workers” explains the study.

The survey also highlights the key role played by training organizations in the fashion industry, which must ensure the training of professionals capable of producing eco-designed models.

Fashion Network FR