• Gabrielle Woolley

The Changing Tide of Fast Fashion

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

Recently, there have been major shifts in the Fast Fashion industry. Consumers aren't spending on clothes as much as they used to. Instead of seeing how many tee shirts, dresses, and tops can be bought for less than $50, consumers are seeking high-quality basics or secondhand, thrift clothes. One of the biggest name retailers, Forever 21, filed for bankruptcy this September. The tides are significantly changing.

One major reason behind these shifts is increased awareness for the ethical and environmental implications of fast fashion.

Consumers are looking for transparent brands that champion ethics and causes that matter to the world. Because of this, they favor brands with altruistic missions and honesty.

Style and aesthetic still matter, but not at the expense of other issues. Now, consumers are considering new factors while shopping.

So, what's sparking this paradigm shift? Certain clothing brands are changing the priorities of their content to start conversations and raise awareness.

Meet Everlane, a clothing brand that prioritizes not only quality and fashion, but also ethics and transparency.

Everlane's website states their brand's mission.

In the brand's early stages, their mission of "Radical Transparency" was achieved through comprehensive, honest guides to their pricing.

Each Everlane product includes a comprehensive guide to its pricing.
Over time, Everlane's transparency began to include facts about its production. Their unique ads include details about how each product is made.
An Instagram ad for a jacket from Everlane's ReNew Collection.

Take Everlane's ReNew collection. This collection is made with recycled water bottles. It's an innovative, sustainable take to production, and Everlane makes sure that consumers are aware of it. Through simple, clear marketing, they frame the important design concept and production practice.

The content markets both the product and the ethical, sustainable mission behind it. It's transparent, idea-based, and straightforward.
A Tweet detailing Everlane's sneaker production.
Along with using their ads to promote their mission and be transparent, Everlane's social media engagement prioritizes important conversations about the company's guiding principles of sustainability and ethical fashion.

Using the Instagram Q&A feature, Everlane hosted a "Transparency Tuesday" so that followers could ask questions about their product design, business practice, and brand strategy.

A screenshot from the Instagram Q&A session.

Whatever the question, Everlane provided an honest response, proving their commitment to transparency.

Like their ads, Everlane's engagement is straightforward, honest, and prioritizes open communication with their consumers. The brand wants to spread the word about all of its pricing, production, and business practices that affect consumers and the world at large.

DTC brands like Everlane with large social media followings are sparking new conversations about sustainable fashion and paving the way for more transparent marketing.

With marketing becoming more and more pervasive on social media, it's admirable that more brands are using it to spread conscious, progressive messages. Social media allows for conversations about climate change to be more wide-reaching, interactive, and multi-media.

Instagram stories might only be seconds long, Tweets might only be a few characters and a photo might only capture one concept. However, they hold a lot of power.

Brands like Everlane can start dialogue via Instagram story videos, comment thread discussions, or mass e-newsletter campaigns. Important topics are more accessible. Subsequently, it's easier for consumers to become informed and more socially and environmentally conscious.

The topic of climate change is more pressing now than ever before, and brands that don't take real action towards becoming more sustainable are losing consumers. As fast-fashion brands like Forever 21 struggle to maintain brand-love, brands like Everlane are paving the way for a new type of marketing.

As more brands factor transparency, ethics, and sustainability into their marketing practice, consumers' are introduced to more factors to consider while shopping. Brands are making consumers more aware and conscious, leading to total shifts in purchasing mindsets. Through small shifts in content, brands are setting new standards for industries and creating new paradigms. The tides are changing - significantly.

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