Log in SIGN UP FOR FREE news and business bulletins direct to your mailbox.

EFF SOURCE Fashion business success without compromise

26 October 2016

Current Retail Trends and their Impact on Sustainable Fashion

Contributor Ethical Fashion Forum

Acey pop up


A round up of some key trends and relevant SOURCE Intelligence articles to help give you the competitive edge in sustainable fashion retail. Image: The Acey Pop-up Shop (www.the-acey.com)


Following on from SOURCE CEO Tamsin Lejeune’s piece on Why We Need a Sustainable ASOS and How to Make That Happen, here are three top retail trends that budding ethical multi-brand retailers (and indeed all online brands) should be paying attention to.

Retail Trend 1: The Subscription Model

Think Spotify. Think Netflix. Why own limited amounts of music or film when you can have access to as much as you want whenever you want. All for a monthly fee. This subscription model is infiltrating the fashion sector through rental sites like Rent the Runway and Rentez Vous where you can own a piece of clothing for a few days, a week, or a month. There’s also an increase in online fashion retailers offering more regular, but smaller, drops of carefully curated fashion selected according to your needs and tastes.

What’s in it for sustainable fashion?

The major benefit here is that consumers can learn to live with a lot less. What’s the point in buying 10 dresses that sit in the back of your wardrobe for a year then get thrown out? Renting gives us the spontaneous fix of fashion with less long term damage.


Rent the Runway

Retail Trend 2: The Sharing Economy

Forget waiting in for the postman. Delivery to a local shop of your choosing is rapidly becoming the norm in many markets especially as retailers increasingly focus on providing frictionless customer service. The exploding success of sharing economy based businesses such as Uber and Airbnb are opening up a whole new business model across industries. For fashion this could result in efficient delivery services that tap into journeys that people are already making or more collaborative retail platforms.

What’s in it for sustainable fashion?

Similarly to the subscription model, the sharing economy encourages people and communities to work together to find better ways of doing things that benefit more people. The opportunities for smaller artisan producers, or independent brands, to share the cost of doing business hold great promise for seeing more sustainable fashion in our lives.

Retail Trend 3: Transactional Social Media

Social media continues to be increasingly influential for brands and retailers. And platforms are now beginning to provide consumers with ways to buy directly from their posts, particularly on instagram. Turning likes into purchases allows emerging brands with a strong following to capitalise on their relationship with their dedicated followers. Wondering how to get that great community of followers? See our article on 8 Instagram Accounts Changing the Image of Sustainable Fashion.

What’s in it for sustainable fashion?

Many emerging sustainable brands are finding success through word of mouth by building a strong brand that identifies with a carefully defined audience. If these brands can combine that loyal following with a convenient and direct way to purchase, the revolution of independent brands may just be upon us.

Further Reading

Free Articles

Building Market Access: Why Selling Omni-Channel is Crucial

Talking E-Commerce and Artisans with Indelust’s Sana Rezwan Sait

Buyer Interview: Holly Allenby from The Acey

Premium Articles (Member login required)

SOURCE Summit Masterclass in Retail

Drop Shipping: The Pros and Cons


Bookmark and Share This Article

Bookmark and Share