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UK retailers looking at long term sustainable goals

There has been growing awareness about sustainability among UK retailers, reveals a new research from WGSN. They are interested in addressing modern slavery, inequality and climate change, and encouraging sustainable economic growth and responsible consumption and production.

There is an emerging shift towards long-term sustainable retail systems rather than short-term sustainable product lines. In fact, there is 128 per cent increase in the number of sustainable women’s wear products online in the UK.

Fitness and swimwear saw the largest jump in volumes of new sustainable products, rising by 40 per cent, lingerie and sleepwear rose 39 per cent, jeans rose 28 per cent, shirts and tops went up 18 per cent and knitwear went up 16 per cent. Volumes for sustainable dresses dropped by six per cent, trousers 30 per cent and coats and jackets by 33 per cent year-on-year.

Gains in women’s wear were not reflected in men’s fashion, however, which recorded flat volumes of new sustainable products year-on-year. However, new products that were out of stock but still appear on retailers’ websites grew by 4.9 percentage points last year, signaling demand and significant scope for exploration in men’s wear. With discretionary spending continuing to dip, consumers need more than sustainability to encourage a purchase, such as newness and value for money.