When it comes to sustainability, apparently there is a disconnect between what shoppers want and what retailers offer. In a survey from First Insight, the predictive analytics firm found consumers want to make more sustainable purchases and are willing to pay more for them. Additionally, Millennials through Boomers define sustainability primarily by the materials used to create a product. When surveyed though, retailers simply don’t seem to believe what consumers are saying. Fortunately, some brands are on top of the sustainability conversation, and they’ve taken consumers’ desire for natural fibers to heart.
“At Madewell, cotton represents over 70 percent of our material footprint and denim is a large piece of that,” says Liz Hershfield, senior vice president of sustainability at Madewell’s parent company J. Crew Group. “We believe in using natural fibers, and we are focused on continuing to develop the majority of our products to use them.”
Eileen Fisher also predominantly uses natural fibers in its collection.
“Natural fibers are renewable, durable and increasingly becoming important in supporting circularity initiatives because they have a potential for recovery and reuse for higher value in second or third life textile-to-textile recycling,” says Eileen Fisher’s Inka Apter, head of fabric R&D. “Synthetic fibers make up a very small portion of our fiber portfolio, and they are used for the purpose of adding performance (such as stretch) or other functional aspects (such as fill in the outerwear styles).”