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EFF SOURCE Fashion business success without compromise

9 May 2016

Perceptions of Sustainability in Fashion: A business survey

Contributor Ethical Fashion Forum

Deborah Campbell AW16


During our recent 5-week online course: 'How to Build a Sustainable Fashion Business' we surveyed thousands of people and analysed more than 14,000 comments to get a view of common perceptions of sustainable business practices in the fashion industry. In this exclusive downloadable report, we present our findings.


During January and February 2016, our team hosted a free 5-week online course on Futurelearn.com called ‘How to Build a Sustainable Fashion Business.’

Thousands of people joined from across the world to learn about sustainability for the fashion industry. Our team conducted both pre- and post-course surveys with participants, and we have also analysed more than 14,000 comments made by participants throughout the course to get a view of people’s opinions and perceptions about sustainability and the business of fashion. In this report, we present some of the key analysis and insights.

Across all these areas participants had the opportunity to share their thoughts, sometimes answering specific questions, about what each aspect meant to them or how they would best approach the challenge ahead. These comments, combined with pre- and post-course surveys, allowed us to compile and analyse participants perceptions of the key issues into an informative and insightful report.

Snapshot of the findings:

  • 95% believe sustainability is very important to the fashion industry
  • Over 40% feel that working conditions and human rights are top priority
  • 21% believe that social issues will shape the future of the fashion industry
  • 33% believe they can have the most sustainability impact when sourcing materials and manufacturing
  • Nearly 30% believe that online sales are the best route to market for sustainable fashion brands
Sign in to download the full report. Not a SOURCE member yet? Email [email protected] to find out how to access premium content like this online.

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