Surveys by Publications:
Footwear InsightTextile InsightOutdoor Insight
Published in the May/June 2020 Issue

Consumers are saying “yes” to tech, are keen on natural, eco-friendly fibers and are likely to seek Made-in-USA apparel. These are among the purchasing priorities that may shape consumers’ buying habits going forward as COVID-19 restrictions lift and individuals resume shopping routines. Staying connected with family and colleagues during isolation is translating to increased consumer awareness around smart textiles that feature conductive yarns developed to sync with iPhone apps.

When asked about incorporating smart textiles into their everyday wardrobe, 87 percent of our survey respondents answered positively.Natural fibers also look to get a boost, as the majority of respondents — 55 percent —believe that cotton, wool and hemp are “cleaner” and “safer” fabric choices. Along this same line of thinking, respondents report that purchasing sustainable or “eco-friendly” apparel and footwear has become more important. This shift in outlook reflects a greater appreciation of nature and environmental protection by everyone, not just survey takers, as a result of the pandemic experience.

Buying products made closer to home is another broad takeaway from COVID-19’s impact. This is clear from respondents’ significant show of support for American made products — tallied at 89 percent — influenced by the role domestic manufacturers played in providing needed PPE products in recent months, compared to 33 percent of respondents not swayed by that action.

The survey, conducted by MESH01, included 401 respondents, men and women, with an average age of 35 years old.

See the Full May/June 2020 Issue
Quotes

How important is a “Made In America” product label in your decision making process?

SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT / 63%

“I prefer to buy American but knowing that many products are sourced elsewhere and only assembled in the US has decreased my interest in shopping this way.” Male / 30

“Love to support local companies, but not a decisive factor in my decision-making.” Male / 28

“If it is comparably priced to a product that isn’t made in USA, I’ll pick the one made in USA.”
Female / 36

“While Made in America is nice to know, price is also important.” Female / 37

“More importantly would be what state it is made in. Made in America feels quite general.” Male / 27

“It is more important when purchasing items online. If I can determine quality (and fit) for a product in a brick-and-mortar store, where it is made does not matter.” Female / 45

“The assumption is a USA made product will be quality but that does not always hold true.” Male / 28

“As long as the company treats their employees fair, it doesn’t matter what country it comes from.” Female / 30

“I generally do not think about where a product is made before grabbing it, but if I happen to notice two products side-by-side and one clearly states that it’s made in the USA, I’ll get that one, depending on the price difference.” Male / 27

VERY IMPORTANT / 22%

“I prefer Made in America to help our own economy grow and because I believe our quality is second to none.” Male / 31

“It will be the decider between two similar items.” Male / 18

Because we make a good quality products Female / 39

“I enjoy most when a product is made here in the U.S. We have all the resources and talent.” Male / 38

“Giving back to American is very important to me.” Female / 38

NOT IMPORTANT AT ALL / 22%

“There is no clear benefit to ‘Made in America’where product quality is concerned, and price is usually higher regardless.” Male / 32

“I’m more concerned about the brand than where it’s made.” Female / 37

“Things made in America are usually more expensive and not always better quality.” Female / 29

“Great quality products are made [all over] the world. I would love to keep the money in the American economy because I live here but it would not affect my decision to purchase a product.” Male / 31

Quotes

Do you relate the concern about plastics to your wardrobe products made with polyester?

YES / 34%

“I recently washed a sweater then dried it by mistake. The way it feels and ‘sounds’ makes me wonder what it really is!” Female / 49

“Natural items sound better.” Female / 56

“I do know this is a bi-product, but its synthetic nature outweighs the plastic concern.” Male / 38

“I worry about toxins in all areas of the environment, including my clothes!” Female / 48

“I try and limit plastics both in my housewares and my clothing (like polyester) as they can harm sea-life.” Male / 31

NO / 66%

“I’ve never thought of this before. I think I should.” Female / 41

“I had not considered that before, but it’s a good point that probably gets overlooked due to water bottles and grocery bags getting most of the press.” Male / 30

“I hadn’t thought about clothing being part of the growing plastic accumulation on our planet.” Male / 41

“I haven’t yet, however after reading this question I will be.” Female / 38

“I never really thought about plastic being in polyester. That’s a really great question.” Male / 29

“I’ve never really thought about that to be honest since polyester is so ingrained in the outdoor community.  This is something I’m going to have to research more.” Male / 42