Online Customers Want Sustainably Packaged Fashion

Consumers make a „fashion statement“ when it comes to sustainability: According to a study by packaging manufacturer Smurfit Kappa, 35 percent of online customers would prefer not to buy fashion if the packaging is not environmentally friendly.

Sustainable packaging can make the difference between buying or not buying fashion. At least that is what a survey by packaging manufacturer Smurfit Kappa suggests, which refers to online fashion retailing. The survey, which surveyed consumers in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK, found that almost half of consumers now buy fashion items online once a month or more. However, 35 percent said they would not make an online purchase from a fashion company if they found that its packaging was not environmentally friendly. 23 percent of respondents have repeatedly shopped at a fashion brand based on its sustainability credentials.

Fashion retailers under pressure of expectations

The efficient use of materials (62 percent), the use of sustainable materials (61 percent) and the sustainability references of a brand (56 percent) contribute to a positive impression. Two thirds of consumers (66 percent) believe that online fashion retailers are responsible for designing their packaging sustainably. However, according to Smurfit Kappa, online fashion buyers face challenges when it comes to making sustainable choices. The survey found that the lack of accessible information (34 percent), the lack of sustainable alternatives (32 percent), but also the cost (30 percent) are inhibiting consumers from making more sustainable choices when shopping online. More than half of the respondents (57 percent) said they would like to learn more about the efforts of online fashion retailers to achieve sustainable packaging.

„Consumers want online fashion brands to act responsibly and consider the social and environmental impacts of their businesses“, says Arco Berkenbosch, Vice President of Innovation and Development at Smurfit Kappa. „Across the four markets surveyed, consumer sentiment and focus on sustainability is consistent. “ The results highlighted the high impact packaging can have on shoppers and their purchasing decisions – both in terms of brand loyalty to companies that prioritize sustainability and the potential impact on companies that do not.