A new research carried out at IUM shows that “green fashion” is more appealing to North Americans than to Europeans. This is largely due to North Americans’ perception that green fashion consumers are young, trendy and self-confident and not unsophisticated, as Europeans see these same consumers.
Researchers found that environmental protection, health impact and ethical concerns most motivate consumers to purchase green fashion although the interest is merely moderate.
“Although consumers are ready to pay a premium to purchase organic food, they do not yet see the interest in organic fashion,” said Sandrine Ricard, Vice-President of IUM and part of the research team. “There is a need to better inform consumers about the nature of organic fashion and to continue ‘glamorizing’ both the communication and the products.”
Researchers found that North Americans perceive green fashion more favorably, in part because eco-clothing brands have been launched by celebrities, such as the brand, Edun, run by Bono and his wife. North Americans associate green fashion with a woman in her 20’s, simple but sexy, who wears organic shoes and clothing.
On the other hand, European respondents perceive organic fashion consumers as unglamorous. A typical consumer would be a simple woman in her 40’s, wealthy, having a healthy lifestyle but unsophisticated. Because organic products are more expensive, Europeans associate organic with social status and showing-off.
The research team also concluded that the concept of green fashion is not clear to the majority of respondents. Consumers seem lost in the exact meaning of green fashion and lack information on norms and processes. In Europe, green fashion must become more attractive to the young generation to be a viable consumer option. (Image courtesy of Gear Patrol blog)