2023
9
UK Fashion and Sustainability Market Report 2023
2023-07-01T03:07:48+01:00
OX1158169
2195
164636
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Report
en_GB
The cost of living crisis has played its part in helping consumers adopt more sustainable shopping behaviours, leading people to buy fewer items and shop less frequently, as well as…

UK Fashion and Sustainability Market Report 2023

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Stay ahead of the curve and secure future growth for your business with Mintel’s UK Fashion & Sustainability Market Report 2023. Our full report is packed with consumer-led market intelligence, the latest trends and consumer behaviours affecting your industry. 

Topics Analysed in this Report

  • The impact of the cost of living crisis on the sustainable fashion market.
  • Changes in the importance of sustainability when buying fashion and influential factors.
  • Shift towards more sustainable behaviours when consuming fashion.
  • Interest in ways retailers can be more transparent in the sustainable fashion market.
  • Drivers for more sustainable behaviours.

Sustainable Fashion Market Outlook

The cost of living crisis has played its part in helping consumers adopt more sustainable shopping behaviours. Inflationary pressures have led people to buy fewer fashion items and shop less frequently, as well as buy more durable, better-quality pieces. Lifestyle changes accentuated during the pandemic have reduced the stigma surrounding buying second-hand and boosted demand for the resale fashion market, with marketplaces and fashion retailers now offering pre-loved items.

  • Sustainable fashion market opportunity: 52% of consumers claim that rising prices have made them aware of the importance of sustainable fashion.

Sustainable Fashion Market Trends and Opportunities

Gen Z leads the way in buying and returning items

Generation Z stands out as high-intensity fashion buyers, with three in ten having bought five or more pieces of fashion in 2023 Q1. While many young people are worried about climate change and beset by eco-anxiety, these concerns do not always feed through into their behaviours. The shift towards shopping online has accentuated Gen Z’s rate of returns in fashion and its negative impact on the environment due to the reverse logistics needed to handle returns.

  • Sustainable fashion market challenge: 71% of females aged 16-24 state that sustainability is important to them when buying fashion, but 54% of these young female online shoppers buy from Shein.

Rise in young women’s interest in preloved clothing

The sustainable fashion market resale has been boosted over the last few years by the pandemic and the cost of living crisis. This has opened up an opportunity for major fashion retailers to expand their share of the resale market by launching their own pre-loved offerings in-store and online. However, when looking to appeal to these younger women, in order to succeed, they need to focus not just on the environmental angle, but also on unique products.

  • Sustainable fashion market opportunity: 33% of consumers have bought second-hand clothing and 26% have sold used fashion items.

To learn how to connect with your audience, purchase our full UK Fashion and Sustainability Market Report 2023.  Discover lucrative innovation opportunities to help your business grow during times of financial uncertainty.

Leading Brands in the Sustainable Fashion Market

M&S, Zara, River Island, Joules, Seasalt, Primark, Depop, Vinted, StickX, Shpock, Selfridges, John Lewis.

Expert Insights from a Fashion Retail Analyst

This report, written by Tamara Sender Ceron, a leading fashion industry analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the sustainable fashion market and add expert context to the numbers.

The cost of living crisis has played its part in helping consumers adopt more sustainable shopping behaviours, leading people to buy fewer items and shop less frequently, as well as boosting demand for resale and repairs. However, more radical changes will be required to reduce fashion’s environmental footprint. Fashion retailers can benefit from taking early action, investing in building circularity into their business models and prioritising transparency.”

Tamara Sender Ceron

Tamara Sender Ceron
Associate Director – Fashion Retail

 

 

 

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • The five year outlook for sustainable fashion
      • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2023-28
    • The market
    • EU to make companies accountable for their supply chains
    • Companies and brands
    • Retailers ramp up recycling efforts
    • Sustainability campaigns diversify to appeal to young people
    • M&S stands out for high ethical perceptions
    • The consumer
    • 54% see sustainability as important
      • Figure 2: Importance of sustainability when buying fashion items, 2020-23
    • Cost of living crisis drives interest in sustainability
      • Figure 3: Factors encouraging people to think more about sustainable fashion, 2023
    • Gen Zs are high intensity fashion buyers and returners
      • Figure 4: Number of fashion items purchased in the last three months, by generation, 2023
    • Almost half of young women buy pre-loved
      • Figure 5: Sustainable fashion behaviours, 2023
    • Using labelling to increase transparency
      • Figure 6: Interest in ways retailers can be more transparent, 2023
    • Gen Zs want advice on extending garment usage
      • Figure 7: What would encourage consumers to shop at one retailers over another when thinking about sustainability, 2023
  3. Issues and Insights

    • What impact will the rising cost of living have on sustainable fashion?
    • What are the benefits of fashion retailers/brands taking a more active stance/acting now on sustainability?
    • Provide resilience against supply chain and legislative changes
    • The commercial imperative for sustainability
    • Understanding how sustainability can drive customer loyalty
    • Tapping into growing interest in alternative retail models
    • Understanding how sustainability offers a competitive advantage through innovation
  4. Market Drivers

    • Catering to an ageing population
      • Figure 8: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2021 and 2026
    • Mintel’s Consumer Confidence Tracker
      • Figure 9: Mintel’s Consumer Confidence Tracker, June 2022-April 2023
    • Inflation will continue to eat into consumer spending power over the course of 2023
    • Women feel the impact of price rises more than men
    • Further interest rate increases will hit mortgage-holders
    • Consumer spending power will be curbed
  5. Regulatory and Legislative Changes

    • UK to clamp down on misleading green adverts
    • EU to make companies accountable for their supply chains
    • EU plans to make businesses responsible for lifecycle of textiles
      • Figure 10: Overview of proposed policies for EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, 2022
    • EU Ecolabel proposal
    • Upcoming US regulations signal a change
    • Legislation to ban harmful PFAS chemicals
  6. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Ramping up recycling
    • Reformation’s recyclable bags
      • Figure 11: Reformation chiara convertible bag, 2023
    • H&M venture to prolong a garment’s life
    • Zara creates clothes from recycled polyester and lyocell
      • Figure 12: Zara Woman circ collection, 2023
    • Inditex to create collections from Infinna textile waste
    • Ethical Fashion Group partnership on non-recyclable plastics
    • Zalando funds rollout of Cycora fabric
    • Retailers add resale
    • Seasalt and Reskinned launch resale
      • Figure 13: Seasalt’s latest resale drop, 2023
    • River Island adds eBay shop
    • Primark adds Vintage offer to stores
    • Zara introduces pre-owned scheme
    • Repairs
    • Selfridges launches stock market style hub for repairs and upcycling
      • Figure 14: Selfridges stock market in the corner shop, 2023
    • Rixo Chelsea store offers repairs
      • Figure 15: Rixo Chelsea store, 2023
    • Rolling out rental
    • Decathlon rolls out rental service
    • John Lewis adds maternity wear rental
      • Figure 16: John Lewis rent Ava dress, 2023
    • M&S adds new rental pieces
      • Figure 17: M&S capsule collection for rent on hirestreet, 2023
    • Rotaro pop-up launches at Liberty’s
    • Selfridges launches rental subscription for bags
      • Figure 18: Selfridges bag rental subscription service, 2023
    • Mango trials rental
    • More sustainable packaging
    • Next-Gen materials
      • Figure 19: Ganni and ace & Tate collaboration, 2023
    • H&M creates jeans from new fibres made from textile waste
      • Figure 20: H&M men’s denim collection made from upcycled textile waste fibres, 2022
    • Finding solutions through collaborations
    • Patagonia teams up with Samsung on washing machine
    • Zara creates laundry detergent to reduce microfiber release
      • Figure 21: Laundry by Zara Home, 2022
    • Circular design
    • H&M creates compostable babywear
      • Figure 22: cradle to cradle certified gold collection for newborns, 2023
    • Certifications
  7. Start-ups and Disruptors Case Study

    • Blackhorse Lane Ateliers
      • Figure 23: Blackhorse Lane Ateliers
    • Company overview
    • Sustainability practices
    • Ongoing collaborations
    • Community focus
    • Turning sustainable shopping into an experience
    • Yes Friends
      • Figure 24: Yes Friends
    • Company overview
    • Sustainability practices
    • Being transparent in its efforts
    • Using customer feedback to improve
      • Figure 25: Yes Friends, 2023
  8. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Sustainability campaigns diversify to appeal to young people
    • eBay + Love Island dual TV and social campaign
      • Figure 26: eBay + Love Island collaboration, summer 2023
    • Puma uses sustainability podcast to attract young people
    • Creating more fun sustainable campaigns
    • Ganni x Levi’s creates humorous campaign
      • Figure 27: Levi’s x Ganni collection, 2022
    • Reformation social media campaign
      • Figure 28: Reformation social media campaign, 2023
    • H&M upcycles vinyl from campaign into bags
      • Figure 29: H&M circular design campaign, London, 2022
  9. Brand Research

    • M&S stands out for high ethical perceptions
      • Figure 30: Top ranking of fashion brands covered in Mintel’s brand research, by agreement with “ethical” when look at a brand’s macro image, 2023
    • Low priced fashion seen as least ethical
    • Brand research methodology
  10. Importance of Sustainable Fashion

    • 54% see sustainability as important, but slight drop
      • Figure 31: Importance of sustainability when buying fashion items, 2020-23
    • Fall in Millennials prioritising sustainability as finances hit
      • Figure 32: Importance of sustainability when buying fashion items, by generations, 2023
    • Highest earners continue to prioritise sustainability most
      • Figure 33: Importance of sustainability when buying fashion items, by household income, 2023
  11. Influential Factors

    • Cost of living crisis drives interest in sustainability
      • Figure 34: Factors encouraging people to think more about sustainable fashion, 2023
    • Media coverage on clothes sent to landfill
    • Growing awareness of impact of climate change
    • Gen Zs influenced by activism
      • Figure 35: Factors encouraging people to think more about sustainable fashion, by generations, 2023
  12. Levels of Purchasing and Returns

    • Women more likely than men to be high intensity fashion buyers
      • Figure 36: Number of fashion items purchased in the last three months, by gender, 2023
    • Gen Zs are high intensity fashion buyers
      • Figure 37: Number of fashion items purchased in the last three months, by generation, 2023
    • Gen Zs are also high intensity returners
      • Figure 38: Number of fashion items returned in the last three months, by generation, 2023
    • Impact of high returns rates
    • Ways fashion retailers can solve the issue of returns
  13. Sustainable Fashion Habits

    • Women buy less frequently and fewer items
      • Figure 39: Sustainable fashion behaviours, 2023
    • Almost half of young women buy pre-loved
      • Figure 40: Sustainable fashion behaviours done in the last 12 months, by gender and age group, 2023
    • Reality of recycling
    • Older women more likely to repair clothes
    • Ramping up rental for Gen Zs
  14. Interest in Retailer Transparency

    • Nearly half of women want clothes with sustainable care label
      • Figure 41: Interest in ways retailers can be more transparent, 2023
    • Using labelling to increase transparency
    • Growing interest in digital IDs for fashion
      • Figure 42: Ganni labels, 2023
    • Demand for increasing transparency of prices
    • Gen Zs show most interest in transparency
      • Figure 43: Interest in ways retailers can be more transparent, by generations, 2023
  15. Driving More Sustainable Behaviours

    • Rewards can drive change
      • Figure 44: What would encourage consumers to shop at one retailers over another when thinking about sustainability, 2023
    • Gen Zs want advice on extending garment usage
      • Figure 45: What would encourage consumers to shop at one retailers over another when thinking about sustainability, by generation, 2023
    • Older women keen on upcycled ranges
      • Figure 46: What would encourage consumers to shop at one retailers over another when thinking about sustainability, by gender and age group, 2023
      • Figure 47: 3D printed clothing made from an advanced polymer, 2023
  16. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology

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