Sustainable fashion seduces but does not (yet) make its way into the French dressing #246


The health crisis has accelerated consumer awareness of the environmental impact of the fashion industry, but does this really influence their daily purchases? A new study reveals that sustainable fashion is gradually gaining ground in France without becoming the norm, particularly because price is the main obstacle to more responsible consumption.

Eco-responsibility is now at the heart of the concerns of fashion actors – not all, but almost – who are multiplying initiatives to reduce their impact on the planet. This seems to appeal to consumers even if sustainable fashion has not yet become a reflex during their shopping sessions. Only one fifth of French people (22%) say they often buy sustainable items when they are looking to expand their wardrobe, and this is systematic for only 4% of the panel, reveals a survey conducted by Appinio*. However, most of the respondents (48.8%) “sometimes” turn to sustainable items to reduce the impact of their wardrobe on the environment.

More than half of French people who never or rarely buy sustainable fashion items (57.8%) justify this choice by the price, which they consider to be the main obstacle, believing that these clothes or accessories are more expensive than ‘classic’ items. But, interestingly, the lack of information and transparency of brands also represents a brake for a large part of respondents. Nearly a quarter of respondents (24.1%) say they don’t know where to find sustainable fashion, 20.9% feel there is no transparency – which prevents them from knowing which brands are truly sustainable, and 17.7% feel there is not enough choice of sustainable products or brands.

Sustainable materials and second hand

French people who sometimes, often, or always buy sustainable fashion spontaneously turn to so-called eco-friendly brands (45%), to clothes made from sustainable materials (43%), and to vintage, second-hand, or second-hand items (36%). However, they are less enthusiastic about local production (19%) and fair trade (20%).

And when it comes to second-hand items, the respondents turn first to online retailers (79%), although thrift stores (44%) also attract shoppers. Not surprisingly, Vinted appears to be the platform preferred by the French for their second-hand purchases (88.5%), ahead of eBay (18.1%), and to a lesser extent, Vestiaire Collective (5.8%) and Zalando Pre-owned (5.8%).

* This survey was conducted by Appinio, between August 26 and 30, 2021, among 1,000 French people aged 16 to 65.

Fashion Network