From Recycled Materials to Secondhand Surge – Sourcing Journal

Despite the disruptions in the supply chain and the confusion caused by Covid-19, sustainability remained an important theme in fashion throughout 2021. Indeed, as the purchasing power of Generation Z, the most environmentally conscious generation, has continued to grow, we have seen an increase in second hand shopping and the use of the term “sustainability” has increased on product pages. At the same time, however, fast fashion has remained extremely popular and the turnover of the products in the sector has soared.

The conflicting behaviors, coupled with the increased focus on sustainability following the November Global Climate Talks, made it difficult for retailers and brands to keep up with changing customer preferences. This is where market intelligence comes into play. Retailers who have in-depth data and insights into how, when and where customers really spend their money will find the most success in 2022. And based on what we’ve seen, retailers should plan for the greater importance of recycled materials, a change in popular keywords and an increase in second-hand purchases at the start of the new year.

Greater importance of recycled materials

Sustainably made products are on the rise in fashion. In fact, according to The Sustainability EDIT 2021, products listed with sustainable keywords have increased 176 percent since 2019 and 52 percent year-over-year. The initiative is also traversing categories as footwear makes up 7% of new sustainable products for menswear and 3% for womenswear. To ensure that their assortment lives up to customer expectations, retailers should use market intelligence to find gaps in competitor’s assortments and fill those gaps when planning their assortments.

With market intelligence, brands and retailers can figure out which sustainable items are most popular and therefore have frequent stock. They can also find opportunities for product expansion, globally and locally, by using this information to penetrate new verticals that are underserved by other sustainable retailers and market them in a way that appeals to sustainable shoppers like Gen Z members.

A change in terms of marketing

Mentions of “sustainability” have become a constant in retailer communications to consumers, increasing by 84% in customer emails since 2019. However, the difficulty stems from as sustainable items are labeled e Self that resonates with your target audience. Currently, “recycled” is the most common keyword in sustainably labeled product lists. In fact, our research found that the keyword represents 51% of sustainable products in stock in the United States, up from 29% in 2019.

Meanwhile, there are other terms that can convey eco-friendly manufacturing details such as bio-based, net-zero, or climate-friendly and more. Market intelligence can help brands and retailers determine which keywords are benefiting competitors and which words can be used to differentiate their offerings for environmentally conscious shoppers. By using less common language on product detail pages and marketing materials, retailers have the ability to educate their consumers and showcase their sustainability efforts to gain loyalty.

The rise of second hand shopping

Any stigma once associated with second-hand shopping has nearly disintegrated in recent years with the apparel and fashion resale market estimated to be worth at least $ 64 billion by 2024. While retailers in the past had to worry about the timeliness of styles on resale platforms, today these seemingly obsolete products sell out before they become stale. For example, we found that 89 percent of the products available at the used fashion company Vestiaire Collective are less than three months old, and only 4 percent have been listed for over a year. The trend towards second-hand shopping and a new perspective on the timeliness of fashion offer unique opportunities for retailers to adjust their pricing strategies.

With items coming off the shelves for used fashion companies, retailers with second-hand options can be more selective with discounts. Using market intelligence to track competitive pricing, these niche retailers can pinpoint pricing opportunities based on the complexity of how assortments align with current trends relative to the competition. Likewise, other retailers can take advantage of this new consumer mindset. For example, with current supply chain disruptions, market insights can help retailers review competitor prices and assortments to determine the most profitable price for inventory that has arrived after the designated season.

The future is sustainable

While it will take time to reverse the damaging effects of unsustainable practices, there is a strong commitment from the fashion industry to evolve and new approaches are being implemented rapidly. As consumers become increasingly interested in green sourcing and secondhand shopping, retailers can make positive change while still delighting customers. The future of fashion is sustainable And profitable if retailers listen to consumer trends and act on market intelligence in a strategic way.

Juliana Prather is Edited’s chief marketing officer, a leader in retail intelligence, market strategy and corporate data. Prior to joining Edited, she was Principal Consultant at Grant Juerey, where she developed and launched the Strategic Greenhouse. Prather was also a CMO at The Marena Group and held senior marketing roles for brands and retailers including Maidenform and Superga.

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