Fashion. So Hot Right Now.

What’s the first thing you think about when it comes to fashion? It’s not usually the word “green”. Whether it’s the latest style trends or the best sustainable alternative, the fashion industry is a world of its own. But what do we really know about it?

In fact, it’s not easy to know about the industry. One thing anyone who has searched for the information behind-the-scenes of the fashion industry, would be the massive division of information about the industry.

Either we have extremely detailed information about micro processes in the life cycle (e.g. it takes 60 liters to dye one kg of yarn), or very general – though eye-catching – information raging across the internet.

There’s a big myth floating around the green fashion industry and it’s harming your green marketing. What’s the solution? Accurate impact data. 

For example, have you ever heard of this fact: The fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world?

If you’ve looked around at sustainable fashion news, chances are you’ve stumbled upon it. But when you stop to really investigate, you may notice… there’s no actual source.

Ah…what?!

It appears that the original source this fact came from was later retracted by the authors. Yet this information continues to circle around the green fashion community, shared by well-meaning but misinformed supporters of the green fashion movement.

In reality, the fashion industry releases 1,715 million tons of CO2 a year. That’s 5.4% of the 3.1 billion tons of carbon emissions worldwide. From 2015 statistics, that actually makes fashion the 8th biggest global polluter.

And this is just one of many loose-data examples.

There’s quite a bit of loose or exaggerated information out there floating around the green fashion world. Sometimes, a piece of information will get misinterpreted or exaggerated yet still distributed, only to be picked up by someone else to be cited and spread further. And on and on the cycle continues.

Does it matter when the intentions are good?

Yes it does! Effective green marketing demands real data and accurate numbers. Nobody likes to feel duped. Nobody likes to feel green washed. And that includes green fashion consumers.

Why is real, accurate data key to green marketing? Nobody likes to feel duped! Getting the facts right is essential to winning the hearts & minds of your customers. 

To win the hearts and minds of consumers (and educate them), green fashion companies need to get the get the facts straight. So how do we do that?

We use data, of course! Data helps brands to show their knowledge and build customer trust. And brand trust leads to…you got it, sales.

 So how do you use data?

If you’re a green fashion brand here are 4 key things you can do:

  1. Avoid generic claims in your marketing materials. Get real numbers.
  2. Share the problems. Discuss your solutions.
  3. Ask your suppliers for impact data. Demand numbers.
  4. If you’re looking for industry numbers to discuss with your community, use the data I’ve mentioned here! (yes, this is real research.)

By using real data, tracking the impacts of products and keeping a close eye on the development of alternatives, we’ll be able to turn these numbers around.