Ethical consumerism, beyond the grocery store

Happy Monday to you all! It’s an overcast day here in Lund, so we hope the sun is shining a bit brighter wherever it is you are in the world.

It’s been a busy week since we last wrote. We’ve been working hard on a few specific tasks like arranging the production of our fabrics, prepping for an event with our seamstresses in Albania, and conducting a bit of market research. If you’re like me and a big fan of data and statistics that other people so kindly put together into impressive journals, then the words „market research“ may pique your interest. Did you know for example that over the last month, 40 percent of Swedes purchased an item with an organic label on it?

More and more consumers both here in Sweden and in Germany are buying organic items these days, boosting the headcount of a group that many bloggers, researchers, and businesses refer to as „conscious consumers“. But what exactly are the organic or sustainable items consumers are grabbing up each month? The answer to that question is quite simple: food/groceries. Food items account for way more than half of the total purchases of organic-labelled items in both countries. Take for example a recent study conducted by researchers at Gothenburg University. When given the task of listing what categories of organic-certified items they buy on the regular, 95% of consumers listed groceries, while only 15% listed clothing. It’s important to note that all respondents were given an option to list both if applicable.

So what did those who look for an organic label on food but not on clothing have to say about their spending habits? Well, 62% of those respondents said that they simply didn’t know what is out there when it comes to organic clothing, or where to find it. This research was fantastic for us to read, because it shows a willingness for consumers to seek out better options when it comes to the items they have in their homes, feed to their children, and put on their bodies. But it still made us wonder, what more can we do to advocate for going organic with your wardrobe and not just your refrigerator? How can it be easier for that 62% of respondents to find the alternatives they might prefer?

Perhaps the task is too tall to take on alone, but we can help people learn more about clothing whose ingredients are procured organically, and where to find it (besides in our webshop of course!) through this blog and through our social media channels. We know that when the fashion industry changes and consumer patterns change, everyone wins. When out and about during your own shopping trips, don’t be afraid to ask about the origin of the clothes, or to check tags for material and origin information. You can also refer to the GOTS website for guidance on retailers, or even do something simple like type in #organicfashion the next time you’re searching or browsing on Instagram.

We’ll continue to showcase some of our favorite brands using organic materials, and will update you week after week on developments with our own line for the mini conscious consumers among us. In the meantime, leave a message–a comment or question you might have about organic clothing. Wondering if it really makes a difference in the greater scheme of things? Want to know more about what gives a garment its „organic“ status? Let us echo your old professors in saying that there are no stupid questions. So let’s hear ‚em!

Cheers till next time

/Stef