Sustainability, a widely discussed subject, gained prominence in the late 1980s due to increasing awareness about depleting natural resources. The Brundtland Report defined sustainable development as meeting present needs without compromising future generations’ ability to do the same. Sustainability entails balancing human demands and productive capacity over time, as well as considering human welfare at different developmental stages. The escalating pace of industrialization and climate change has resulted in alarming environmental degradation, including global warming, cyclones, droughts, glacier melting, and deforestation. The fashion industry exacerbates these issues through high consumption, waste generation, and unsustainable practices, particularly in the fast fashion sector. Effective marketing of Sustainable Fashion (SF) holds promise in addressing these concerns. This paper delves into two key questions: (i) What is known about the marketing of SF? and (ii) How can marketing promote the popularity and mainstreaming of SF? It conducts a systematic literature review to address these queries, identify research gaps, and provide future research directions.
Table of Contents
Sustainability, Climate Change, and Business: Climate change, a consequence of unsustainable human activities, leads to ecological shifts. Climate change and business are interconnected, with climate-related risks affecting supply chains, business models, and decision-making. Sustainable business models aim for collective benefits across people, planet, and profit. Traditional linear value exchanges are being replaced by models involving direct stakeholder involvement, particularly consumers, creating sustainable value. Incorporating sustainability ensures cleaner energy use and emphasizes repair and reuse over disposal.
Marketing and Sustainability: Marketing facilitates the exchange of values between parties, which can be goods, services, money, time, energy, or emotions. Recognizing and integrating customer needs into the firm’s value proposition is crucial in designing an efficient and sustainable business model. Marketing also influences consumer behavior, attitudes, and beliefs. Proper marketing strategies can encourage sustainable behavior and guide consumers towards eco-conscious purchases. However, marketing has been criticized for contributing to fast fashion and greenwashing practices.
Role of Fashion in Sustainability: Fashion, driven by social demands, influences societal forms, clothing habits, and aesthetic judgments. It has a significant impact on society, particularly on the upper class and female population. The fashion industry caters to a growing demand for new products, generating economic and social impacts. However, it faces criticism for its environmental and social repercussions. Fast fashion, characterized by rapid production of popular designs at low cost, contributes to waste and resource depletion. Sustainable fashion, a subset of slow fashion, aims to minimize environmental impact and promote social responsibility throughout the product lifecycle.
Marketing of SF: Proper marketing of sustainable apparel can facilitate sustainable purchasing behavior. It can be categorized into Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) marketing. B2C marketing targets end-consumers, with fashion brands selling products through online and offline retailing. B2B marketing involves selling products to organizational buyers or providing sustainable raw materials and technologies. Green supply chain management is crucial for B2B marketing. However, limited research focus has been placed on B2B markets in the extant literature.
Interacting with Green Fashion Innovators
Engaging with Visionaries in Sustainable Fashion
When it comes to connecting with pioneers in green fashion, there are several key steps you can take to make meaningful interactions. Here’s a guide to help you navigate this enriching experience:
1. Educate Yourself on Sustainable Fashion Trends
- Familiarize yourself with the latest trends and developments in sustainable fashion. This will not only show your genuine interest but also provide a solid foundation for meaningful conversations.
2. Attend Industry Events and Workshops
- Actively participate in conferences, workshops, and events related to sustainable fashion. These gatherings are excellent opportunities to meet and interact with thinkers who are driving change in the industry.
3. Network with Like-Minded Individuals
- Connect with individuals who share your passion for sustainable fashion. Join online forums, social media groups, or local meetups to expand your network and gain insights from fellow enthusiasts.
4. Stay Updated on Industry Insights
- Regularly follow thought leaders, blogs, and publications focused on sustainable fashion. This will help you stay informed about the latest discussions and innovations in the field.
5. Ask Thoughtful and Relevant Questions
- When you have the opportunity to interact with green fashion pioneers, ask questions that demonstrate your genuine interest. Inquire about their challenges, aspirations, and the impact they aim to create.
6. Listen Actively and Absorb Knowledge
- Pay close attention to the insights shared by these innovators. Actively listening not only shows respect for their expertise but also allows you to absorb valuable knowledge.
7. Share Your Perspectives and Experiences
- Engage in the conversation by sharing your own experiences and perspectives on sustainable fashion. This can lead to enriching discussions and potentially open up new avenues of collaboration.
8. Collaborate on Initiatives
- Explore opportunities for collaboration, whether it’s a joint project, event, or awareness campaign. Working together towards a common goal can strengthen your connection with green fashion visionaries.
9. Offer Support and Encouragement
- Show your support for their initiatives and projects. Acknowledge their efforts in driving positive change in the fashion industry and offer words of encouragement.
10. Stay Committed to Sustainable Practices
- Demonstrate your commitment to sustainable fashion through your actions. Implement eco-friendly practices in your own lifestyle and showcase your dedication to the cause.
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