LuxePulse by Gusto Intelligence is a quarterly market analysis of beauty, fashion and hospitality industries, available on an annual subscription of USD 1,400. The latest Q2 2020 LuxePulse Fashion provides a market scan of new retail activity, influencer and celebrity collaborations, reports from outside agencies, market trend analysis and more.
This excerpt from the report looks at how consumers are proactively seeking sustainability in fashion:
Luxury sector to see growth
Official data shows that January-April retail sales totaled RMB281.8 billion, or a 7.5% decrease year-on-year. In terms of fashion, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) predicts China to see a drop of 24-31% (compared to a fall of 29-37% globally), while the luxury sector overall is expected to grow 0-10% in China for the year.
Since mid-March, some 40 Chinese cities have offered vouchers to encourage people to spend, totaling RMB19 billion (USD2.7 billion), according to another BCG. However, with half of Chinese consumers concerned about their personal finances, government vouchers may not be enough to get everyone on board and ‘revenge-spend.’ Indeed, there are signs that many are proactively ‘revenge-saving.’ In fact, Sina Finance reported that Chinese consumers did bank deposits to the amount of RMB70 billion a day during Q1 2020.
Consumer priorities shift
In terms of consumption behaviours, we are seeing some consumer priorities shifting. Research by Fudan University in collaboration with CBNData and Uniqlo shows that 60% of first tier city respondents and 19-24-year-old young women prefer brands that sincerely seek sustainable solutions, practice social responsibility, and focus on social issues.
The past months have visibly impacted many aspects of consumers’ lives. The holistic impact has led to some consumer segments re-evaluating their shopping criteria, including for fashion. Fashion that is made with environmentally-friendly, or at least less environmentally harmful, processes and materials appear to be increasingly of interest to consumers.
Proactively seeking greener solutions
Many recent surveys reflect the fact that consumers are now more proactively looking for more sustainable or environmentally-friendly options. Fudan University partnered with CBNData and Uniqlo to study China’s healthy living. According to the findings, 60% of first tier cities and 19-24-year-old young women prefer brands that sincerely seek sustainable solutions, practice social responsibility, and focus on social issues. A report by Lexin Research Institute found in their research that 45.6% want to buy green products after the epidemic, 35.1% of respondents want to buy high-quality second-hand products.
Sustainable fashion is also a trending topic among netizens. On Weibo, the hashtag #可持续时尚(sustainable fashion) has been viewed 31.38 million times and included in 19,000 discussions. The hashtag #硬核新时尚 (Fashion for future) has been viewed 9.37 million times and included in 3,428 discussions, whereas #可持续生活方式 (sustainable lifestyle) has garnered 190 million views and included in 2.76 million discussions. On RED, the popular recycling-related hashtag continues to perform #环保袋袋相传 (recycling continues bag by bag) has 1.42 million views and 426 participants.
In terms of industry, Chinese fashion designer Feng Chen Wang showed at London Fashion Week (featured image, credit Fashion United). Feng’s Rework collection was inspired by the idea of waste in the fashion industry. She revisited past collections to select some leftover signature pieces and rework them in a creative way. Feng’s new collections aims to inspire consumers to buy something new without having to reproduce it.
In April, Longchamp launched ‘My Pliage Signature’, which is made from recycled plastic bottles from China and Spain, with each bag reusing between 10 and 23 bottles. And while Mi Terro is Los Angeles-based, the fashion start-up’s Robert Luo is talking to Chinese dairy companies about sourcing unused milk for its t-shirts.