Although you might think that fashion trends are dictated by the top-end designers, it’s actually customers who help determine where the fashion industry will be headed. Consumers now want more from a brand than just an average product. They want the brand to give them a reason to use them over the competition that isn’t just their affordability. Customers will look for the little touches, from sending free samples with an order or popping your branded pin badges in with their package. They now demand more from the industry and here are 5 ways they’re shaping the road ahead for fashion.
1. Ethical And Sustainable
Looking after the planet has become a hot topic so more customers are looking for brands that offer sustainable products. For example, a brand that uses biodegradable packaging and makes its clothes from recycled materials may have a leg up over brands that don’t. Consumers also want to make sure that they’re purchasing from an ethically run business. This means trying to avoid those who don’t pay their workers a fair wage or demand extreme working hours in terrible conditions. A lot of consumers won’t compromise on these terms either, so if a brand refuses to look at improving their sustainability and ethics, then they may lose a lot of custom.
There has always been a divide in fashion between the general sizes that a business will carry and the plus sizes that are normally kept separate. As more people learn to love and celebrate their bodies no matter their shape, fashion brands need to learn to adapt and cater to everyone. Offering clothing in the standard small, medium, and large isn’t enough anymore as the demand for the same clothing to be made into bigger sizes has grown exponentially. A lot of fashion brands now offer a more inclusive size range, as not only is it important that everyone has the same access to fashion, but it also helps them garner more buyers.
Many consumers don’t want to have the same as everyone else, but they also don’t want to spend thousands on a one-off piece. Offering customisation is becoming more popular and it can be a great way for brands to really connect with their consumers. Something as simple as offering necklaces with different initials on or offering a choice of different coloured laces can make the customer feel they are getting a more unique product.
As well as sustainability, customers look at the quality of the clothing to ensure that it has the potential to be worn for years. Environmentally conscious consumers are becoming the norm, with many refusing to use brands who sell poorly made clothing that will just end up in a landfill. Customers instead want clothing that is made to last so brands are now having to change their approach.
We currently live in a digital age, and customers have a bigger platform now than ever before. For example, if a fashion brand does have poor ethics or low-quality clothing, customers will have no issue putting this information online for all to see. This is forcing brands to take these things into consideration or run the risk of ruining their reputation. Consumers also have access to absolutely everything that’s current in the world of fashion so there is a lot more variation in styles. Because of this more brands have to try and incorporate many different types of clothing to ensure they stay current. The spread of fashion trends is almost instantaneous too and it only takes one viral video for a brand new trend to emerge.
Customers have always helped to shape the fashion industry, but their voice is heard now more than ever before. The digitalisation of clothes shopping and the reach that a customer’s opinion can have, has directly impacted the industry, and caused them to take new approaches. Trends may come and go, but we can expect to see the customer impact on fashion be a long-lasting one.