Millennials, as a group often proved to be the most interested in brands dedicated to social change, are the ideal audience for ethical fashion. A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that 50% of the 4,000 13 to 34 year-olds contacted in the US believe brands “say something about who I am, my values, and where I fit in,” while 48% of US millennials choose to buy from brands that are active in supporting social causes.
This younger generation is also tech savvy. Popular Rookie Mag site, aimed at teenage girls exploring feminism, is run by 18 year old Tavi Gevinson, while Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, created the web platform that changed the world while still at college.
Thanks to the internet, millennials have access to a host of information to make informed purchasing decisions. In a study by MTV Insights, around 70% of teens claimed to have the freedom to go anywhere they want online but despite this, their purchasing power remains relatively untapped by sustainable fashion brands.
Increasingly, the best way to reach millennials en mass is through an active social media presence. Leandre Medine built her fashion blogging empire, The Man Repeller using her humourous online presence as a means to stand out and attract fans. Today the blog has over 713,000 Instagram followers and 203,000 Twitter followers.
Photographer Mark Hunter also harnessed the power of online and made celebrities accessible, snapping candid pictures of “off duty” famous friends, showcasing their personal styles in gritty-glam party-time atmospheres and posting them on his blog, The Cobrasnake. Fashion bloggers know that armed with their Blogger, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts the once impenetrable old guard of glossy magazines can be broken. Hunter’s blog narrows the gap between a girl by her computer in her room and a young LA rising songstress and hits some 500,000 unique visitors a month.
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Taking their cue from bloggers and avoiding the sterile out of reach editorial styling of glossy magazines could be one way ethical brands can engage and educate millennials on sustainable fashion and responsible consumption.
What’s important for brands taking this route is that millennials expect a two way dialogue. This isn’t limited to fashion. Rihanna is known to reply personally to Instagram comments and earlier this month Taylor Swift left a long and thoughtful comment on a bullied fan’s Instagram account. These are icons who know the power of social media platforms to communicate with fans, while furthering their brand appeal.
First and foremost though, appealing to young millennials and their aesthetic sensibilities is where sustainable fashion has fallen short. Brands like Urban Outfitters and H&M have successfully appealed to millennials, capturing their imaginations and their purses on an astonishing scale.
One of the most recent memorable campaigns was H&M’s collaboration with Lana Del Ray, who modelled H&M’s clothing at the peak of her new found fame, tapping into her young and growing fan base. In an unfortunate turn of events, Del Rey wore an angora sweater just as news of the unethical treatment of angora rabbits in the fashion industry was exposed and the campaign came under fire. H&M halted its angora production until it could verify that its policy on the treatment of animals was being followed by suppliers. However, imagine the impact of the campaign if it had run with an educational message on responsible consumption. For example, if a millennial also fronted the company’s Conscious Collection.
Sustainable fashion platforms, with the confidence of a growing young audience interested in the space should partner with global fashion giants like Urban Outfitters and H&M to tap into their huge captive audience, collaborate on ethical collections, and campaign for a more ethical fashion industry.
According to US census data, 23-year-olds are now the single largest age group in the US coming in at 4.3 million. If the sustainable fashion and fast fashion worlds could truly collaborate in an honest way, we’d be able to pass on the ethical fashion message to these millennials immediately. It seems this is the next realistic step for the movement along with having celebrities, bloggers and Youtubers on board. Sustainable fashion isn’t the enemy of fast fashion, it could be its saviour.Read more:http://www.queeniebridesmaid.co.uk/yellow-bridesmaid-dresses