Collaborative Consumption In Fashion – A Path Towards Sustainable Fashion


Collaborative consumption in fashion is a possible approach towards achieving a sustainable fashion industry.

Collaborative Consumption In Fashion – What Needs To Be Changed

By the implementation of the fast fashion strategy, consumers’ shopping patterns have changed into buying cheaper garments. Also, fashion buyers tend to spend more often to keep up with the fast-changing fashion trends. Recent reports suggest that the amount of disposed textiles is fast-increasing across the world, causing massive environmental, social, and economic mishaps.
Collaborative Consumption In Fashion - A Path Towards Sustainable Fashion - What Needs To Be Changed - a land with a pile of disposed textile and wastes
As there is an urgent need for new strategies to reduce both, used and unused textile and fabrics waste, the reduction of disposed textiles has become one of the greatest environmental and economic opportunities within the fashion industry.

To react to the new environmental and social challenges, most fashion brands focus on producing sustainable goods. Yet, more production means more waste. More than that, most environmental waste is produced in the post-purchase stage, namely the maintenance and disposal stages. Therefore, reducing the number of disposed textiles should be the new approach for the fashion industry.

Collaborative Consumption In Fashion – New Study

In a new study named, ‘Collaborative fashion consumption and its environmental effects’Samira Iran and Professor Ulf Schrader, from the Institute of Vocational Education and Work Studies at the Technical University of Berlin, propose a comprehensive definition of “Collaborative Fashion Consumption” and suggest it as a possible path towards a more sustainable fashion industry.
Collaborative Consumption In Fashion: A Path Towards Sustainable Fashion - New Study - 4 switched off light bulbs next to lit up light bulb with an orange background
In their research, Samira and Ulf argue that the implementation of ‘collaborative consumption’ can help to diminish the overconsumption experienced by the current fashion industry and not only.

Also, in their paper, researchers have introduced different types of behaviours which would result as a consequence of the ‘Collaborative Fashion Consumption’. Moreover, possible positive environmental effects according to the adoption of such behaviours have been discussed.  

Collaborative Consumption In Fashion – Definition And Examples

Collaborative consumption in fashion happens when consumers choose to use a second-hand garment rather than buying a new one, or when they make their clothes available for second-hand use. Moreover, collaborative consumption in fashion creates new opportunities such as sharing, gifting, swapping, lending, leasing, renting, and second-hand buying.

In this context, some startups have created online marketplaces aimed at collaborative fashion consumers, which could have the power to change the fashion industry. One successful example is Mercari, a startup that has launched a smartphone app available in both, the App Store and Google Play which allows its users to buy and sell unwanted fashion items in a simple, quick and secure way.
Their app has positioned Mercari as Japan’s first mobile collaborative marketplace with more than 60 million downloads in Japan and the US. More than that, Mercari is expanding its services to Europe and the UK.
Collaborative Consumption In Fashion - A Path Towards Sustainable Fashion - Definition And Examples - Mercari smartphone app showing a dress, a camera, a red pot, a pair of boot, baby shoes, a hoodie, a hand bag and two Russian dolls
Must Read: Sustainable Fashion Products Consumption – WTVOX Research Impact
Vinted, Thredup, Poshmark, Etsy, and Refashioner are just a few successful contributors to this new movement, showing that collaborative fashion markets are developing fast. In this regard, a growing number of experts insist that this is the way forward to create a sustainable fashion industry.
In conclusion, pushing for more pro-social and eco-friendly production won’t lead to a more sustainable fashion industry. Only by researching new ways to change consumers’ behaviour and devise new patterns of consumption.

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