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Infographic: What do Consumers Really Think About Sustainability Anyway?

Whether and how much consumers care about sustainability may be an ongoing question the industry wants an answer for, but one thing that’s clear is that though some consumers do care, sustainability isn’t the first thing they think of.

At a Cotton Incorporated event Tuesday titled “Everything You’ve Heard About Cotton is Wrong” co-hosted by Sourcing Journal, Cotton Incorporated director of market research Melissa Bastos, presented findings on the business of sustainability and what companies need to be thinking about.

“While we know that the consumers are concerned and they are interested in sustainability, it’s not the primary purchase driver,” Bastos said.

Before considering anything else when they’re going to spend on clothing, consumers look at fit, comfort, price, quality, durability and style. After that, color, softness, performance features and laundering instructions are the next set of key purchase drivers. Sustainability comes in after consumers’ primary and secondary considerations.

Though sustainability isn’t the first factor they consider, it’s still one they want the brands they buy from to be responsible for.

In short, when it comes to consumers, Bastos said, “They care about sustainability, they care about the industry overall but they expect really the industry to be taking care of the sustainability initiatives.”

See the below infographic for a quick look at the business of sustainability, and what consumers and the industry are thinking and doing about it.