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Survey Says 60 Percent of Consumers Would Boycott Dishonest, Unethical Brands

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If a brand is tied to faulty product claims or child labor, American consumers will neglect it.

According to recent Applied DNA Sciences survey conducted by Harris Poll, 30 percent of consumers said they would stop buying from a brand that lies about their product material. And if unethical work practices were involved in manufacturing, three out of five consumers would no longer purchase from that brand.

“Consumers want authentic products and want to trust in what they are buying,” Applied DNA Sciences CEO Dr. James Hayward said. “Our primary aim is to cleanse the cotton supply chain and by that, I mean eliminating any diversion, any mislabeling, any counterfeiting that can take place throughout the cotton supply chain.

As a tracking solutions provider, Applied DNA Sciences works with brands to minimize this issue in cotton supply chains. One of the company’s solutions, SigNature DNA, is a molecular tag that resists industrial treatment baths and marks material authenticity from harvesting to final product.

“An ideal way to ascertain the true identity of a natural commodity is to use the DNA that nature gave that commodity or to mark it with a manufactured DNA,” Hayward said. “This enables the cotton to be traced to where it was picked before it went into the ginning process that cleans away seed and other debris for packaging into bails to ship around the world for spinning, dyeing and to make into clothes.”

Although many companies, including Applied DNA Sciences, are fighting against faulty cotton products, consumers are still unaware about product manufacturing history. Seventy-six percent of American consumers said they believed product claims that indicated a cotton product was 100 percent organic or 100 percent Pima cotton.

However, if brand claims were false, one quarter of American consumers said they would have a negative perspective of the brand and 30 percent also said they’d completely stop buying products from the brand. If a cotton product claimed to be 100 percent organic or 100 percent Pima cotton and was found to have a hybrid blend, 32 percent of American consumers said they would purchase less of the brand’s products.

Despite the existence of negatively-linked cotton brands, the industry and consumers are growing their authenticity awareness. Seventy-eight percent of American consumers said they would be likely to buy cotton products from a brand that scientifically proved their material’s ethical and organic history.

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