1 in 3 want to shop in sustainably sourced-only stores
A survey has revealed that consumers in the USA want to make more sustainably-sourced choices when shopping for clothes, but this is hindered by a lack of availability and trustworthy information on what makes clothing sustainable.
A new survey of 2,000 teenagers and adults in the U.S. from clean manufacturing leader Genomatica set out to understand consumers’ perspectives around sustainability in fashion.
Over a third said: “If there was a store for sustainable clothes, I’d do all my shopping there”.
31% would even support a “fast fashion tax” on clothing that’s unsustainable.
Consumers are aware of environmental issues in the fashion industry
Consumers want to make better choices, but they’re confused about what makes clothing sustainable and how or where to find it.
- 72% of consumers have heard of environmental sustainability issues in the fashion industry — listing excess consumption, carbon emissions and water pollution from dye processes as issues they’re aware of.
- 51% believe that Americans’ clothing purchases each year result in substantial greenhouse gas emissions.
- 38% who are aware of sustainability issues in fashion have only become aware of them over the pandemic period.
How clothing is made and what it’s made from are important considerations for consumers
- 58% of consumers care about the materials that make their clothes and want them to not be harmful to the planet.
- 47% rank clothing made with renewably-sourced or natural materials as a top sustainability characteristic, with around the same percent (46%) that list production processes with few to no toxic chemicals in their top three.
- 53% of consumers believe the majority of clothes are made of primarily synthetic material, slightly more than the number of consumers (47%) who realize fossil fuels (crude oil, coal, etc.) are the main building blocks of synthetic clothing.
Consumers are on the lookout for “greenwashing” in the fashion industry, but they still want brands to do the legwork to make sustainable choices easier
- 88% of consumers don’t immediately trust brands that say they’re sustainable and 51% believe “greenwashing” is common in the fashion industry.
- 55% want clothing brands to help them understand how their products are more sustainable than alternatives.
- 50% say that a sustainability label would help them identify sustainable clothes while shopping, and 38% say clearer information about sustainability features would make them want to purchase sustainable clothing.
- 44% believe brands are to blame for not prioritizing or providing enough convenient sustainable alternatives.
Global Disability Inclusion and Mercer partner for survey
Global Disability Inclusion is a consulting firm which offers disability inclusion strategies and solutions for global companies. The team helps organisations expand opportunities to reach new talent, create inclusive environments and acquire new customers.
First-of-its-kind disability climate and culture survey
The Amplify survey is designed to provide companies with valuable insights into the work experience of both people with disabilities and those without, allowing them to:
- Improve policies and procedures
- Create greater equity in the workplace
- Improve climate and culture
According to the Return on Disability Group, 90% of companies state they have diversity initiatives, but only 4% include disability in their diversity programs. "Companies are unaware of the employment experiences of people with disabilities because disability is too often left out of the broader diversity conversation", said Meg O'Connell, CEO and Founder, Global Disability Inclusion. "Disability doesn't discriminate. It affects people of any gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, economic condition and educational level - which is why it is so important for companies to obtain feedback from their employees with disabilities."
The need for data on disability inclusion
Amplify comes from a collaboration between Global Disability Inclusion and Mercer. The two organizations have been studying disability employee engagement by capturing data and gaining insights about the employment experiences of people with disabilities as it compares to all other diversity groups.
Their landmark ten-year study, The State of Disability Employee Engagement, includes responses from 12m people across the globe. This study highlights the need for companies to better understand the work experiences of disabled employees.
In one example, the engagement gap of employees with disabilities shows a difference in some areas of up to 13%. A gap of this size demonstrates employees with disabilities perceive a very different work environment than those without disabilities.
"Amplify will allow companies for the first time to actively participate in surveying employees with and without disabilities and to benchmark results to the 10-year data set," said Dr. Peter J. Rutigliano, Senior Principal, Mercer. "The data generated will provide deep, actionable insights that can help companies address the needs of employees with disabilities."
How to get involved with the survey
The survey will run over three weeks from 2nd September - 16th September 2021. Companies must be registered by August 25, 2021, to participate.
Once the survey period closes, companies will receive the following:
- Results across six key employee engagement categories - Diversity and Equity, Enablers and Resources, Climate and Culture, Leadership, Achievement and Identity
- Results from new questions specifically about disability practices (disclosure, self-id, accommodations, employee resource groups, and more)
- Benchmark results against Mercer's 12-million-person global database
- Analysis and recommendations on findings provided by Global Disability Inclusion
Register here: To register for the survey, email [email protected]