Survey reveals what buyers look for in apparel

The results of a survey of 7,300 men and women in various countries revealed that more shoppers are taking into account the role clothing brands are playing in sustaining the environment and preventing climate change.

Cotton Inc. and Cotton Council International polled consumers between the ages of 18 and 60 in the United States, Great Britain, Mexico, India, Italy and China in 2017 to get their opinion on whether sustainability was really important to them or just something they thought about but didn’t act upon.

Here are the findings of the recent Global Environmental Research Study:

1. Quality, fit and comfort are the top sellers

According to the survey, 91 percent of respondents cited quality, fit and comfort as their top factor in a clothing purchase. Clothing material came in at 86 percent and style came in at 82 percent

2. Price is still top of mind

The second most important factor, behind quality, fit and comfort, was price—which came in at 89 percent. However, price was grouped together with durability, so consumers are still looking for affordable options, but also ones that will last.

3. Sustainability is shifting consumer behavior

We've covered the growth of sustainable apparel in recent months, and this survey confirms that consumer spending habits are affected by environmental concerns. According to the respondents, 61 percent said sustainability affects their clothing purchases. The shoppers went on to say that they look for biodegradable natural fibers, like cotton, when it comes to their clothing. The level of importance, however, differed from country to country. In India, sustainability was classified as "very important" for 60 percent of respondents, while 17 percent of respondents in the U.K. classified it as "very important.

While fit, style and price are still the top factors in determining the likelihood in shoppers are purchasing a product, sustainability is a growing concern. Consumers want more transparency as to where products are sourced before they buy, and some number of them will alter their shopping habits based on that information. For promotional apparel suppliers and distributors, there's no better time to look into your textiles and make sure they come from sustainable sources.

Cotton Inc. and Cotton Council International emphasized that brands can capitalize on sustainability issues by using natural fibers such as cotton to make their products more attractive to consumers sensitive about the environment and clothing quality.

Read more here.

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