UK consumers are becoming mindful shoppers say BFC and Clearpay

The State of Retail Report says that consumers are “looking to make more responsible retail choices”.“Buoyed by the ‘Blue Planet effect’ and accelerated by the pandemic”, the report shows more than 65% of people surveyed say that making environmentally-conscious fashion purchases is either ‘very important’ or ‘fairly important’.

And 62%+ of respondents agree that ‘long term wearability is the most important factor when buying clothes’. Meanwhile, 70% of respondents want to make better and environmentally-friendly and conscious purchases.This is a clear shift in purchasing priorities compared to just a few years ago and the shift is also mirrored in the latest sales data from Clearpay, which shows consumers investing more in the clothing they buy on the platform. On average they’re spending £188 on clothing, beauty, cosmetic products and jewellery this year, up from £163 in 2020.Perhaps even more significant, Clearpay data shows an average of 10,000+ shopping referrals to sustainable merchants per month.Fashion futurist Geraldine Wharry says in the report that “in terms of trends and behavioural shifts, slowing down has been more prominent during the pandemic and we are now focusing on key fashion purchases generally promoting comfort. This has led to a bigger understanding of purchases that have more meaning, more tied in with wellbeing, and need to justify their value in the home.“Fashion has always been about utility and directly informed by the technological and societal shifts of the time. It re-spins them into what we wear as a mirror of what is happening in society. Wellness and eco-mindfulness are now completely reshaping our relationship with clothing choices”.Meanwhile, Clearpay’s own fashion & beauty psychologist, Shakaila Forbes-Bell, said: “Studies suggest that in times of crisis, such as a global pandemic, consumers seek simplicity and adopt a sociological approach to shopping, favouring pragmatism over materialism. This psychological shift has caused an increased interest in sustainability, with customers expressing a decreased desire to buy clothes simply because they’re fashionable and an increased desire to buy in a more environmentally-friendly way. As a result, sustainable clothing has gained renewed interest, with consumers being more swayed by Intrinsic motivations as they attempt to marry their core beliefs with their personal style and shopping habits.”

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