Summing-up a Semester of Sustainable Fashion

The issue of sustainability in fashion is one which holds significant importance when considering the future of the industry and, more broadly, the planet. The increased prevalence of fast fashion, fuelled by the popularisation of online shopping and changing consumer behaviours has meant that the textile industry has become one of the most environmentally degrading industries around. According to Taylor (2018), “apparel and footwear industries currently account for 8 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions”, an alarming figure which was initially responsible for my attention to this area. She argues that “by 2030, the climate impact of the apparel industry alone is forecast to nearly match today’s total annual US greenhouse gas emissions, emitting 4.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent”.

My website, The Green Thread, has attempted to address the future of fashion across multiple time frames. The online store incorporating Lazy Susan Studio provides tangible products which essentially tackle the imminent future of sustainable fashion. Made from recycled and repurposed materials, the entire premise of Lazy Susan lies in creating a product which is environmentally conscious and minimally impactful on the planet, as the materials used have been saved from going to waste and given a new life. The target demographic for this portion of the site is primarily those considered to be a part of the millennial generation. In doing this, I believe the utility of the site has been solidified, considering that 73 percent of millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable brands, according to a 2015 report from Neilson.

Lazy Susan Studio Etsy Store

Throughout the semester, I have made numerous sales on Lazy Susan Studio- both through the online store and in person. With the target demographic in mind, I have utilised Instagram as my main platform for marketing, primarily due to the fact that according to Clarke (2019), “71% of Instagram users around the globe are under the age of 35”. I also believe the visual nature of Instagram compliments Lazy Susan effectively and the use of sustainability-related hashtags has also helped increase traction and audience. Interestingly, in the past month, the total views for the Etsy store reached 125, however only 3.9% of this traffic came from Instagram, which indicates there is certainly room for improvement. The iterative process could also benefit from some fine-tuning. With each sale I posted a note asking customers to leave a rating on the store, and none of these have been successful in receiving feedback. I have, however received plenty of constructive verbal feedback from customers who buy in person as opposed to online.

Meanwhile, the blog component of The Green Thread has attempted to address the more long-term future of sustainable fashion, primarily in 20-50 years. Covering a range of different topics, I have attempted to explore the topic from a number of different viewpoints, supported by external research. Throughout semester I reached out to numerous sustainable fashion brands online and asked whether they would be interested in doing an online interview to be featured in a blog post. A few got back to me and expressed their interest, however never ended up returning the interview questions that were sent to them. Looking ahead, I would like to diversify the blog posts to incorporate more interview style articles rather than just my own ramblings. I believe this is a more effective way to show people actual ways that brands are addressing the future of fashion, which will hopefully be more engaging for the target audience. Another thing that was problematic for the blog posting was the lack of iterative process. My initial intention was to post the blogs to Reddit and Twitter in order to receive constructive feedback to build upon with each new post. Unfortunately, due to illness during semester, my ability to do so was compromised and as a result I believe the blog is lacking in this area.

References:

Clarke, T 2019, ’22+ Instagram Stats That Marketers Can’t Ignore This Year’, Hootsuite, online blog post, March 5, viewed 26 June 2019,<https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/>

Nielson 2015, ‘Consumer-Goods’ Brands That Demonstrate Commitment To Sustainability Outperform Those That Don’t’, Press Release (online), December 10, viewed 27 June 2019, <https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-releases/2015/consumer-goods-brands-that-demonstrate-commitment-to-sustainability-outperform/>

Taylor, T 2018, ‘Clothing and textile manufacturing’s environmental impact and how to shop more ethically’, ABC Science, online article, April 3, viewed 28 June 2019, <https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-04-03/fashion-environmental-impact-of-your-favourite-textiles/9382382&gt;

Published by susiealdermann

Fifth Year Bachelor of Communications and Media/ Bachelor of International Studies (Dean's Scholar) student

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