Shopping mall

Nachhaltigkeit
und Corona

Durch die weltweite Covid-19-Pandemie und den damit verbundenen Eindämmungs-maßnahmen wie Lockdowns, ist die Wirtschaft zu einem historischen Stillstand gekommen. Auch die Modeindustrie bleibt nicht verschont. Was auf den ersten Blick nach einer Krise aussieht und sich auch so anfühlt, könnte jedoch die große Chance der Industrie sein, die längst überfälligen Versäumnisse in Bezug auf Nachhaltigkeit und den ökologischen Fußabdruck nachzuholen.

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Even if the world stands still, our desire for sustainability and greater ecological justice certainly does not.

Our green conscience is finding its way more and more into our everyday lives and is no longer stopping at our wardrobe. More and more people are recognising the urgency of climate change and want to play an active part in limiting its effects. In particular, pollution of the environment is seen by consumers as particularly critical. That is why more and more consumers are turning to products that have either been recycled or produced and/or packaged in a climate-neutral way. One can already speak of a downright trend. This trend continues when it comes to buying fashion. In addition to the durability and quality of products, sustainability is becoming an increasingly important factor in our purchasing decisions. Among the younger generation, secondhand, vintage and used clothing are especially popular. But sustainably produced clothing is also becoming increasingly popular and has experienced a real boom since the Corona outbreak.

More sustainable fashion is being bought.

Zalando has more than doubled the proportion of its customers who prefer to buy sustainable fashion since the start of the pandemic. In response to this behaviour, the mail order company has comprehensively expanded this range. Sustainable fashion is particularly popular with customers in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. This group is almost 2.5 times more likely to shop in this category than other age groups.

However, Second-Hand shoppers also state that the comparably favourable price is also decisive for the purchase. However, due to short-time salaries, this should surprise only a few. As a result of the deceleration of the economy and everyday life, consumers are now also thinking more timelessly and also more regionally. You become aware of what you already have and feel less desire to consume. Also, due to the travel restrictions in place, seasonal trends, such as swimwear, are sometimes completely eliminated.

woman sustainable shopping
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Vogue has completely done away with photo shoots and printed images in its January 2020 issue for the sake of the environment. Instead, they commissioned artists to simply paint the new collections. This meant that travelling and sending clothes could be dispensed with completely. ThisCO2-friendly version of fashion journalism is a first even for Vogue. Editor-in-chief Emanuel Farneti stated that there had never been a Vogue without photographs before. Even an illustrated cover had not existed before. Flipping through this issue, one sees drawings of silk dresses and striped cotton tops from luxury brands such as Gucci. You really have to admit that despite the lack of detail and sharpness, the concept works incredibly well and shows off the collections very well.

stacked fashion magazines

Online trade is booming.

Online retailer NET-A-PORTER has added beauty products to its sustainable sub-platform NET SUSTAIN. Divided into eight sub-categories, the aim is for customers to quickly and easily find products that have been produced responsibly. In its offering, the online shop focuses on both local and Fairtrade. The packaging of the products also plays a major role. Strict attention is paid to sustainable industry standards and quality seals. The beauty director of the site assured that each and every product has been reviewed.

Generally speaking, the current lull brought on by this pandemic is giving major brands time and inspiration to rethink their environmental footprint. Gucci, the traditional Italian house, has made the decision to decelerate its output. You’re cutting your annual collections in half from four to two, and you want to change the fashion industry calendar for good. The time thus gained is to be used for more sustainable planning and implementation of the collections. Labels like Saint Laurent and Armani are showing solidarity with Gucci and some have already announced similar plans for the future.
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Bulldog with designer cape
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Where some high-fashion labels are still planning, other companies are already a step ahead. The keyword of the moment is Circular Fashion. What is meant is a closed system, which should enable more sustainability through the maximum use of all resources. The principle can be divided into three steps:

The first begins with the actual design process, as this has the greatest impact on the environment. The better a product is planned and designed, the less waste will be generated during the actual production. So there is less waste that could pollute the environment. To get the most out of resources, it would make sense to train both employees and suppliers.

The second step refers to the use of recycled and used materials in order to avoid the need for new resources. This can be ensured, for example, by so-called reverse logistics. In doing so, the brand promotes the return of empty packaging or even used products in order to recycle them and use them in the manufacture of new products. The logistical effort could be minimized by having drop-off stations in stores or even at separate locations. However, consumers must be careful, because this concept can be misused for greenwashing, as has happened in the past by fast fashion labels. These brands simply throw away the collected products instead of recycling them.

The third and last step refers to the participation of the customer in the process of sustainability. Recycling and reusing packaging and used products is the first step in this process.

Giving customers the opportunity to participate in concrete processes that promote sustainability creates a synergy effect from which both sides benefit. An example is a café that offers reusable cups with a to-go purchase. The customer gets a good feeling when he returns the cup and at the same time the seller is perceived as someone with a high sense of ecological responsibility.

Clothes and cuts on a wardrobe

However, the Corona crisis offers other opportunities to improve its reputation in the perception of the customer. Companies that, for example, have made their business premises available for the production of masks and hygiene articles or have continued to pay their employees are perceived by customers as particularly positive. This stimulates the buying behaviour of existing customers and can also generate new customers. This principle can also be applied to sustainability, which is perceived as the most important purchase criterion alongside the quality and durability of the product. This is probably due to the close contact between body and clothing. In addition to fairness, a high level of transparency can lead to a closer relationship between customer and company.

Everybody join in!

Berlin’s politicians have also recognized the problem of our fashion consumption and now want to act. Berlin Fashion Week may not enjoy the same prestige as events in Paris or Milan, but for many it is an underdog when it comes to innovation and sustainability. Across Germany, there are around 3,100 companies involved in fashion. These are mostly small labels consisting of only a few employees. Many of these companies deal with sustainable concepts, such as re- and upcycling. However, innovation and technological progress in relation to textiles are also promoted by many German fashion companies. It is precisely these labels that the Berlin Senate would like to offer both a stage and support with the so-called Fashion Hub. The budget for this amounts to a total of €600,000.

bVisitors of a fashion show
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In contrast to the actual Fashion Week, where there are already shows and concepts for more sustainability, the Fashion Hub is supposed to offer a year-round contact point for the labels. Companies are to be given expert support on topics such as digitalisation and enticed with bonuses. The Fashion Hub is intended to help German fashion in general, but especially Berlin as a location, gain an international reputation in the areas of sustainability and innovation.

However, the Berlin Senate has also planned sustainable projects outside the Fashion Hub. Through the so-called “Re-Use”, the collection and recycling of clothes is to be systematized and expanded. This project will be presented in more detail at the upcoming Fashion Week.

In summary, there is a clear turnaround in the fashion industry. Companies recognize the urgency of climate change and are ready to address it with new and sustainable concepts. The deceleration of the economy has given companies the time and opportunity to re-engineer processes and re-position themselves. A positive bright spot in a grey time.

by L. Morawietz

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Masstabelle für Bekleidung Damen

Amerikanische Größe S M L XL
Europäische Größe
34-36
38-40
42-44
46-48
Oberweite
80 cm -84 cm
88 cm - 92 cm
96 cm - 100 cm
104 cm -110 cm
Taillenweite
62 cm - 66 cm
70 cm - 74 cm
78 cm - 82 cm
86 cm - 92 cm
Hüftweite
86 cm - 90 cm
94 cm - 98 cm
102 cm - 106 cm
110 cm - 116 cm
Rückenlänge
40,5 cm
41,5 cm
42,5 cm
43,5 cm
Schulterbreite
37 cm
39 cm
41 cm
43 cm

Masstabelle für Bekleidung Herren

Amerikanische Größe S M L XL
Europäische Größe
44-46
48-50
48-50
56-58
Oberweite
88 cm -92 cm
96 cm - 100 cm
104 cm - 108 cm
112 cm -116 cm
Bundweite
78 cm - 82 cm
86 cm - 90 cm
94 cm - 98 cm
104 cm -110 cm
Gesäßweite
90 cm - 94 cm
98 cm - 102 cm
106 cm - 110 cm
115 cm - 120 cm
Ärmellänge
62 cm
64 cm
66 cm
68 cm

Masstabelle für
Kragencollier/ Schlipsschal

XS S M L XL XXL
Halsweite
34 cm - 36 cm
37 cm - 38 cm
39 cm - 40 cm
41 cm - 42 cm
43 cm - 44 cm
45 cm - 46 cm