There is much work being done in the fashion industry to make brands and supply chains more responsible, but it is a slow process. While changes are made, there is still a knowledge-gap for consumers while they learn about a brand's effort to be more ethical and decide what companies to trust.
It is up to brands to make sure their communication is authentic, honest, and transparent. Supply chains are complicated entities and, despite my suggestions that shoppers do their research, it would be much easier (and more realistic) if consumers could rely on what marketing and communication departments are telling them.
Here is my first retail hack for brands and consumers:
Sustainability Dos for Brands:
1- Be honest about what you are doing and what you still need to do. No one is perfect.
2- Share your plans. The strategy will change and modifications made, but that will be another opportunity to talk with your consumers and share a story about why something did or didn't work.
3- Let them know what you're working on right now. No one expects a company to tackle everything at once.
4- Tell them what you've done, even If that Is absolutely nothing because you are just getting started.
5- Communicate where you need help and why. Did you have to change how you make things? Replace a fabric that you've always used? Find a new factory? Let them know.
Sustainability Don'ts for Brands:
1- Don't spin and make it sounds like you've done or are doing more than you are.
2- Don't tell half-truths or use words like most, some, partial without telling them when you will be using words like all or entire.
3- Don't wait until your supply chain is perfect. It never will be, and it is more important to the consumer that you are doing something and trying to change.
4- Don't be afraid of making mistakes. And, when you do screw up, share your story.
5- Don't underestimate your consumer.