7 tips on establishing your own sustainable fashion brand. Sustainable fashion has fortunately become a rising industry for some years now. Some statistics say the market share of sustainable clothing items will rise to 6.1% by 2026! It’s a great example of environmental awareness and forward-thinking in the fashion industry and by consumers. The now profitable industry is expected to grow to a massive $17 million by 2032, so if you are thinking about venturing into sustainable fashion with your own brand, now is the time!
Whether you have come here brimming with enthusiasm and ideas to start your sustainable brand or are simply curious about how sustainable fashion works, STUDIO EVA D is here to help give you some of the ins and outs on how to establish your own exciting new business venture.
1. Knowledge Is Power
Like any industry, you need at least some solid background knowledge in the chosen area.
You could be a fashion student or simply a stylish enthusiast that wants to make a difference towards the environment. The important thing is to have confidence and drive that keeps you going through the ups and downs that will likely come, as it does in any business. Do your research and ask yourself questions that give you a strong foundation that will help you gain funding and a confident following as your business grows.
Our founder Eva Dekker took her time developing her business after graduating from art school. It was here that fashion stole her heart because of the craft and handiwork that was involved. Knowing this, she persisted and created what is now STUDIO EVA D.
2. Ask Yourself “Why?”
Time for reflection is always important, especially when you want to make a positive environmental impact, whilst looking fantastic!
Take your time with this and think:
- Why do I want to create sustainable clothing?
- Why would others want to invest in your sustainable clothing?
- Why do we need another sustainable fashion brand?
It’s good to ask some brutal “Why?” questions sometimes and they are most likely the ones investors will be asking you when you are approaching them for the very important aspect of every business, funding.
3. Ask Yourself “Who?”
A higher percentage of younger generations are now investing in second-hand clothes, in fact, 75% of millennials are reaching deeper into their pockets to pay for more sustainable clothing companies.
Factoring in your target demographic is one of the most important aspects of any business that sells a product.
Consider the following:
- Who am I making my clothes for? (consider affordability and target demographic)
- Who will sustainable clothing benefit?
- Who are my competitors?
Again, it all boils down to research. Delve deep into analysing your target market and who will want to invest in your new venture.
These important questions will affect many aspects of the business, including how much they are willing to pay. It’s a perfect place to start when choosing more primary decisions in your business, like sourcing materials and labour budget. It can even affect how you stock your items.
At EVA D, we create our clothes to order. Limiting stock means limited material waste.
4. Ask Yourself “How?”
Although fashion brands that focus on sustainability are on the rise, so is the competition. Therefore, it’s important to think about elements that help you stand out from the crowd.
- How will your company make a difference?
- How does your brand stand out from competitors?
- How is the current market of sustainable fashion responding?
Consider environmental benefits, material manufacturing and accountability. Give yourself that competitive edge, but don’t ever lose your purpose as to why you wanted to start your sustainable fashion brand in the first place.
5. Develop Your Brand
So far, the questions you’ve been asking have hopefully given you a better insight into your business goals, maybe even yourself!
People love a good story and we’re all storytellers in some way or another, so now is the time to tell yours.
It’s at this stage we start building a strong understanding of your brand and begin to visualise where you stand in the world of sustainability.
Think about your backstory.
Has there always been a burning urge inside you to establish your fashion brand? Got a personal story to tell that led you here?
It’s always worth looking into and developing.
Eva Dekker always wanted to establish her own brand since a young age, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that she realised her method of working at her own pace was more relevant than ever, now it’s part of the way our company works.
Think about your platform
Want a business solely based on e-commerce? Want to open up your own studio so people can come in and try the clothes themselves?
Consider the way your company will be seen through the eyes of the customer and the environmental impacts of each. We know there is a huge output of carbon emissions caused by the fashion industry, simply through deliveries alone.
However, the rise of renting studios in major cities is also approaching an all-time high, creating major budget implications for smaller brands.
6. Getting Yourself Out There
So, you have the basis of your unique sustainable fashion brand and you have your company foundations ready, now you just need to build it.
A website is a good place to start.
Picking the right website development platform can be difficult, so again it boils down to research. If you have room in your budget, it’s a good idea to consider a web developer or a full-service marketing company to help with your google ranking and to help you stand out from the crowd and keep customers in the loop of the latest projects through email, blogs and social media marketing.
Advertising has gotten a lot easier in recent years. So much so that billions of pounds have been spent on social media advertising alone (with an approximate projection of USD$13.45bn in 2023, according to Statista).
Consider your demographic when thinking of this. According to sprout social, “nearly 40% of Gen Z say they’re directly influenced by products they see on TikTok and brands should take notice.”
This is where all your questions from earlier stages come in handy!
Beware, however, not to lose track of your true purpose in starting your brand based on sustainability. “Greenwashing” is when companies sell themselves as eco-friendly solely as a marketing gimmick, therefore misleading customers who have genuine intentions to reduce their carbon footprint.
7. Keep In The Loop, Keep Going
The world of fashion is an ever-evolving industry, but more importantly, so is the state of affairs when it comes to environmental issues and global warming. Brands are constantly coming up with new designs and ideas to reduce mass landfills and unnecessary waste created by fast fashion companies and so can you.
Keep at it, and don’t give up. Stay in the loop of your field and see how you can stand out from the crowd with your sustainable fashion brand. Listen to your customers, talk to them. An average of 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs, but you can also use your brand as a platform to educate them about the benefits of sustainability and help make the world a better place.
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