According to a British study, fashion is one of the least trusted sectors for sustainability

There is no point in overdoing it to enforce any potential environmental commitments, as consumers are not fooled and expect real action and transparency.

This is the conclusion of a new study carried out in the UK, which reveals that the fashion industry is perceived as one of the least trusted sectors in this regard.

From greenwashing and pinkwashing to rainbowwashing and sportswashing, since the Covid-19 pandemic, these expressions are everywhere and are multiplying at a pace to condemn the deceptive actions of some brands trying to strengthen their reputation in certain areas, such as environmental measures.

Many companies still talk about their commitment to helping sell products that are supposedly environmentally responsible, ethical, or whatever, without actually being.

And this phenomenon has led to another, greenhushing, which describes the fear or reluctance of brands that actually produce in an environmentally responsible way to communicate their approach.

Consumers are at a loss as to who to trust in this whirlwind of information. As a result, mistrust of brands is more prevalent than ever.

These are the findings of a study by Sensu Insight of 1,682 adults in the UK, which reveals that the fashion industry is among the least trusted sectors in the eyes of consumers.

Read more: If you already have a mountain of clothes, can you resist buying more this year?

Total lack of trust

Across all sectors, just under a quarter of UK consumers (23%) said they take brands’ environmental claims at face value.

Among the less receptive, a minority simply do not believe the claims (14%), three in ten (30%) believe they are exaggerated and the vast majority (71%) believe they are unlikely to have been independently verified or checked. professional or regulator.

However, some sectors are doing better than others.

Supermarkets, large retailers, the technology sector and food and drink manufacturers appear to have more credibility with consumers than, for example, airlines, car manufacturers or fashion brands.

Specifically, only 35% of respondents said they were likely to believe the claims made by fashion brands.

Only two sectors are worse off: airlines (32%) and travel agencies (33%). Supermarkets and large retailers, on the other hand, are trusted by more than half of the respondents (51%).

As an example in the fashion sector, Sensu Insight recalls the greenwashing condemned by internet users after the Swedish giant H&M appointed Maisie Williams as ambassador for sustainable development.

“Critics felt that the move was a marketing ploy and that the money would be better spent fulfilling commitments to provide a living wage for garment workers,” the report’s authors say.

Read more: Can fast fashion still fuel overconsumption in the used market?

The need for transparency

Make no mistake, consumers are not fooled and they don’t like it when some companies try to trick their eyes with misleading communications.

More than nine out of ten respondents (93%) believe they have seen what they consider to be an example of greenwashing in the past month.

These include supposedly sustainable brands that do not back up their claims with facts or figures (33%), misleading advertising (32%) and false or exaggerated product recycling claims (30%).

As a result, consumers are changing their behavior (59%) by reducing their spending on a particular brand (23%), boycotting it (15%) or switching to a truly ethical or environmentally responsible company (13%).

According to the study, to regain public trust, brands need to demonstrate greater transparency and (real) commitment to the environment, which is currently not the case for 92% of respondents.

However, if transparency is key for the majority of respondents (86%), this must also be achieved through concrete measures, such as offering sustainable versions of existing products (24%).

This study, although only for the UK, shows that companies still have a long way to go to gain public trust when it comes to being green. – AFP Relaxnews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *