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Consumer Survey
Consumer Q&A 1
Consumer Q&A 2
survey

Sustainability Influences Shopping Behavior

Slowly but surely sustainability is influencing not only what shoppers buy but also how much they are willing to pay for a product made with eco-friendly fabrics. In years past, consumers have expressed interest in “green” goods, yet when it came to swiping their credit card, individuals often balked at a higher price tag. That shopping behavior is on the wane. More good news: today’s consumers will sacrifice certain features such as aesthetics and color selection in the name of sustainability. Another indicator of strides in eco purchasing patterns is that footwear as well as apparel is increasingly appreciated when eco materials are featured. The research shown here and on the following pages illuminate these and other consumer trends in purchasing behavior. While changes in eco shopping attitudes and decision making shown year over year between 2017 and 2018 is subtle, textile suppliers can take heart that responses reflect positive direction and that today’s consumers are looking for ways to integrate sustainability into their active lifestyles. It is encouraging that shoppers surveyed believe it is an individual’s responsibility to recycle used clothing and footwear, and don’t depend on brands and retailers taking on that task. Responses to our open-ended questions are intriguing. We received a high volume of feedback on both questions, highlighting the fact that the topic of “USA-made” products and the issue of “chemical-free” resonate with contemporary shoppers. Verbatim responses to the two questions appear on pages 58 and 60. The panel consisted of 168 active, athletic men and woman who live in the U.S, between the ages of 18 and 50.
The Importance of Eco-Friendly Products
Are you willing to pay more for apparel or footwear with eco-friendly fabrics and materials?
When purchasing apparel how important is the use of eco-friendly material in your final decision-making?
When purchasing footwear how important is the use of eco-friendly material in your final decision-making?
How important is knowing the traceability of natural products like down and wool?
Who should recycle used clothing or footwear?
With all the talk about plastic straws and plastic bags polluting the ocean and peer pressure to re-use rather than buy new, please rate your level of eco-anxiety.
What one thing would you give up to have a 100% sustainable apparel or footwear product?

Verbatim

“I would give up eating fried chicken and bacon.”

“Candy”

“I would give up choosing a name brand to choose a company that has 100% sustainable apparel or footwear.”

“Chocolate”

“Too tough to answer!”

“Fancy product packaging.”

“I would give up plastic flip flops.”

“Pedicures”

“Probably some level of structural integrity, comfort, or aesthetic appeal.”

“Things I would not give up: Durability and fashion appeal.  I feel like I would easily give up superfluous packaging.”

Quotes

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT PRODUCTS MADE IN THE USA ARE MORE ECO-FRIENDLY?

YES / 46%

Same amount of exploitation here, but regulation appears to be more strict and effective in the USA compared to typical production areas abroad.

Because of all the rules and regulations that we have in the U.S. and having traveled overseas I have seen that all they are worried about is making money as cheap as possible with no concerns for the environment.

The USA has specific laws related to what is acceptable and some other countries do not have any rules.

Most things that are made in other countries are usually the cheapest way to be made, not most eco-friendly!

I believe they [USA Made] are more eco-friendly simply because of the reduced cost/use of fuel due to of transportation needs.

If it was taken the time to be made in the USA then they probably put more care into it.

I have more trust that U.S. brands would be able to prove it.

Because we have so many organizations who support things like recycling and the environment and how to keep it safe.

It’s easier to find out how they were made.

There is a perception to me if it is made in the USA and carries sustainable or eco-friendly labels, the manufacturer and the brand have made a conscious effort to promote and utilize these resources and they want to make it available to those consumers who believe it is important to own; because I was told at one time to advertise these eco-friendly certifications you have to go through a process to be eligible to advertise.

NO / 54%

Same amount of exploitation here, but regulation appears to be more strict and effective in the USA compared to typical production areas abroad.

Because of all the rules and regulations that we have in the U.S. and having traveled overseas I have seen that all they are worried about is making money as cheap as possible with no concerns for the environment.

The USA has specific laws related to what is acceptable and some other countries do not have any rules.

Most things that are made in other countries are usually the cheapest way to be made, not most eco-friendly!

I believe they [USA Made] are more eco-friendly simply because of the reduced cost/use of fuel due to of transportation needs.

If it was taken the time to be made in the USA then they probably put more care into it.

I have more trust that U.S. brands would be able to prove it.

Because we have so many organizations who support things like recycling and the environment and how to keep it safe.

It’s easier to find out how they were made.

There is a perception to me if it is made in the USA and carries sustainable or eco-friendly labels, the manufacturer and the brand have made a conscious effort to promote and utilize these resources and they want to make it available to those consumers who believe it is important to own; because I was told at one time to advertise these eco-friendly certifications you have to go through a process to be eligible to advertise.

Quotes

Does an eco-based product have to be chemical free?

YES / 46%

It depends: some chemicals are still eco-friendly or don’t pose a threat so it doesn’t have to be completely free of chemicals, just free of toxic.

Yes chemical free, because chemicals is what’s bad for us and the eco system.

Because it needs to be chemical free do to recycling.

Depends on the chemical but generally, yes.

Eco-friendly implies chemical free, so yes.

Not a hard yes. Was recently reading not all chemicals are bad and are produced naturally.

I believe it can have natural chemicals that break down.

Why put chemicals in a eco product.

Eco-friendly should be as natural as can be.

I would think so because It means it’s supposed to be natural.

I believe if you are promoting something that is good for the environment all efforts to produce it with little harm to the environment would be key; therefore, any chemicals in it or used to make it would defeat the purpose of an eco-based product.

NO / 54%

Chemicals are in everything. Just make sure your process is using non-toxic substances, avoiding halogenated compounds, and ppm levels are appropriately low in final production.

Everything is made of chemicals, including water. Chemophobia is a fundamental misunderstanding of basic science.

I would prefer chemical free for many things, but recognize you can’t get certain desired performance without some chemical.

Not all chemicals are bad. When utilized properly, it can enhance product properties, such as waterproofing and durability.

In the same way that something organic does not need to be chemical free. Just certain chemicals should be excluded.

There are chemicals that are eco-friendly.

It depends: some chemicals are still eco-friendly or don’t pose a threat so it doesn’t have to be completely free of chemicals, just free of toxic chemicals or ones that aren’t eco-friendly/sustainable.

As long as it isn’t a harmful chemical, I don’t think it would matter.

“Chemical free” products are impossible to define. “Chemical” has turned into a fear-mongering word and plays into the logical fallacy that things that are labeled as “natural” are always inherently better.

I think it can still have some protective chemicals and still be eco based.