The Weekly Journal | Fashion

By Gary Parkinson - March 29, 2022

PRINCIPLE VS. PRODUCT:

Personal Passions Are Changing Fashion

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Photo from NPR, April 30, 2017 article

Millennials have become the largest buying demographic on the planet. According to Statista, digital buyers aged 25-34 were the largest purchasers of online products in the year leading up to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, more people have become comfortable purchasing items online, but millennials are the biggest piece of that digital demographic pie. This means companies are laser focusing their brand positioning and marketing strategies on how to reach more millennial buyers. But promoting your products with catchy taglines and intriguing visuals is no longer enough to cater to this growing audience.

This means companies are laser focusing their brand positioning and marketing strategies on how to reach more millennial buyers. But promoting your products with catchy taglines and intriguing visuals is no longer enough to cater to this growing audience.

The rise of belief driven buyers

Millennials are the first generation of what’s become known as “belief driven buyers.” Essentially, belief driven buyers are people who choose to purchase products from brands that demonstrate corporate values aligned with their own personal values.

What does this mean for the growth of business? It means taking a more progressive corporate position on issues that impact society and the health of the planet in order to demonstrate your company’s willingness to solve societal challenges. This is how you connect with millennial buyers who are not shy about placing principle ahead of product.

Photo from Toronto Star, April 21 2014 article

Why is this relevant for fashion?

Unfortunately, the fashion industry, for many years, has been on the wrong side of two of the biggest issues facing the planet: climate change and worker human rights. 

According to the World Economic Forum, the fashion industry is responsible for 10 percent of the planet’s carbon emissions and is the second largest user of the world’s water supply. Think about those statistics; this means the planes that fly overhead and the cargo ships that sail across the ocean all contribute LESS greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) than fashion.

On top of that, studies have shown how titans in the fashion industry continue to manufacture the majority of their products in factories that have little to no worker rights. It’s possible that some fashion companies use forced labour to manufacture their products, and incidents of child labour continue to make reports during particularly poor experiences.

Millennials won’t put up with these unnecessary crimes

Millennials and Gen Z buyers are more aware of the dangers caused by these environmental and human rights violations than previous generations. They’re also a lot more vocal about taking a stand against companies that continue to engage in these destructive practices.

For fashion icons, this growing movement towards socially responsible and sustainable fashion could be what levels the playing field in the industry. Young buyers are no longer motivated to purchase the newest fad from one of the largest brands on the planet. Instead, they’re choosing to purchase apparel, footwear, and other accessories from lesser known brands that believe in eco-friendly manufacturing and fair rights for workers.

How can this level the playing field? It gives brands that do believe in sustainable manufacturing and fair wages for their employees a chance to gain some ground.

Photo taken June 14, 2013 from the article: The Conversation published on April 22, 2021
Photo from USA today, April 25 2013 article
More demand for locally made fashion

Part of this movement by millennial buyers towards more sustainable fashion stems from a growing demand to support local brands. Locally manufactured apparel requires no overseas factories that may or may not live up to the standards for human rights. It also eliminates the need for shipments of products across the ocean, which could go a long way towards lowering GHG emissions if more companies bring manufacturing to their own backyards.

Wolfe Co. Apparel & Goods is a prime example of a Canadian brand that believes in local manufacturing, reinvesting in the community, and using environmentally sustainable materials in all manufactured apparel. Spinning out from a retrofitted 1997 Airstream RV that toured all across Canada in an effort to educate Canadians about the value of domestic manufacturing. We encourage our customers to shop to reduce emissions and embrace sustainable fashion in order to help protect what’s left of the planet’s natural resources.

You can learn more about the products we have for sale here.

It’s time to place principle over products or profits

Now is the time for fashion companies everywhere to align with millennial demands and embrace sustainable fashion as the path forward. Fashion companies worldwide need to pivot towards the Wolfe Co. model that eliminates the outdated manufacturing trends in favour of more sustainable and eco-friendly products that support the fight against climate change.

Values are what shape individuals and they shape the companies that sell to those individuals. As we strive to do what’s right in an increasingly complex world, we can demonstrate our own personal and professional beliefs by embracing fashion that speaks to the growing movement towards a better tomorrow.

Our mission is to make a difference for the good of future generations, and we encourage you to make an impact the next time you choose to buy a new fashion item. Want to chat more? Please connect with us using our LiveChat function 7 days a week from 9AM-9PM. You can also email us at hello@wolfecoapparel.com and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.