You’ve long asked me for advice on sustainable fashion business ideas. So I have been encouraged to give a few brushstrokes to what from my point of view is essential to start a sustainable fashion business. Naturally, I focus on communication and marketing, which after all are my strengths. I hope you find it useful.
The new opportunities in sustainable fashion revolve around a concept of maximum quality and exclusivity in the designs or their origin that have little to do with the idea of sustainable fashion that still lasts for some. We selected 15 very concrete Ideas that have found their niche right in that double approach:
10 Sustainable Fashion Business Ideas Opportunities
- Find A Niche Market
- Attention To Design
- The Pillars Of Sustainability
- Team Up
- Long-Distance Race
- The Particularities Of The Sector
1. Find A Niche Market
I am discussing the communication of sustainable fashion business ideas, I have received from new firms that ask me for a budget to carry out the communication of the business. Honestly, it gets a lump in my throat when I see that they offer a product of which the market is saturated and with which it will be very difficult to stand out. Before starting any business (and sustainable fashion is no exception), market analysis should be done to see what shortcomings there are. In the words of Sara Maino, head of Vogue Talents (Italy): “It is very important when we create a product to see the reaction of friends, family, and acquaintances who are in the market where we are going to want to market it.”
2. Attention To Design
Although it seems obvious, in a sustainable fashion, I do not know why it is still somewhat lame in this regard. Just as in graphic, product, or interior design it is very difficult to find sustainable products aesthetically little worked, in sustainable fashion, I have found many brands that launch clothing, footwear, or accessories with recycled materials, ecological raw materials or hand a team with a ‘social plus’, but whose design component is tending to zero. The consumer does not buy only for sustainability, many other factors are important: quality, relationship with price … and, of course, the design. If you are going to launch a fashion brand and you are not a designer, count on the collaboration of some. If possible, the good ones.
3. The Pillars Of Sustainability
when you dig a little deeper into the product and the project, you see that the firm’s effort in this regard is the minimum. Not much less a slow fashion firm can be 100% sustainable and responsible here and here I talk about some of the criteria that make a firm can enter this package, but what we can not do is say that it is sustainable simply because we have not exploited the direct work team or in some of the garments we use ecological fabrics. Sustainability requires being present at the heart of the company and covers the entire life cycle of the garment. And the company.
Someone who knows a lot about fashion once told me that he doesn’t understand why there are people who insist on starting a sustainable fashion business without having the resources to invest. And that’s a very common thing in sustainable fashion brands. We must be prepared to have a minimum stock to distribute our products and serve on time, as well as – in the case that concerns me – to be able to carry out communication and marketing actions that allow us to make ourselves known and turn the wheel. If not, we will probably never get past the circle of family, friends, and acquaintances.
5. Team Up
Luckily, no one has the knowledge or time to lead and execute all the steps required to run a sustainable fashion business. Closely linked to investment is the ability we have to create a solid team of professionals who take care of each of the areas. We will have enough working leading and managing this team that, after all, is our job as promoters of the firm.
6. Long-Distance Race
No one said it was easy. Starting any business is not something you do overnight. It is important to be aware that we will be losing money for a few years and that the return on investment if it comes, will do so little by little.
7. The Particularities Of The Sector
It is true that sustainable fashion fights against some of the particularities of the fashion sector, such as seasons or extremely thin models. Naturally, and being faithful to point “3” of this decalogue, we must work to break these stigmas but, at the same time, we must not forget how the fashion industry works and, in one way or another, we must adapt to it to facilitate sales, either by taking out collections or using attractive images for the consumer. Because one is to be ethical and upright and the other is to throw stones at yourself. In this sense, I recommend originality.
Focusing more on the communication and marketing strategy, we must be clear that what differentiates the sale of clothes from the sale of fashion is the story behind our garments. If a person needs a t-shirt and does not care about fashion, he will acquire the first one he finds and if possible be the most economical. If a consumer wants to wear fashion, he wants you to tell him something, that that garment transmits something to him. That is the storytelling of our brand and we must be clear from the beginning. Normally it is supported with a brand book (the book of the brand), which is the bible that all team members must have internalized to row in that same direction and make the long-distance race as short as possible as well as the investment as well used as possible.
Once we are clear about the story behind our brand, it is essential to plan how we are going to tell it and, for this, it is essential to organize over time the messages to be disseminated, and the channels through which we will do it and the desired periodicity.
Although it seems obvious, it does not hurt to add that “who does not communicate does not exist”. And it is that we start the business that we put in, if we want customers we need to be present in the collective memory of the potential consumer. And for this we must become a Malay drop, periodically remembering our existence, and doing so according to the communicative line marked (points 8 and 9). On the other hand, if we do not communicate, rather than not existing (that phrase is not entirely true) we are actually communicating negative inputs, such as that we are intermittent, not very constant, reliable, unpredictable, etc.
This list is only a series of recommendations but I hope they will serve to make those who want to start a sustainable fashion business ideas reflect if they are prepared to do so. Naturally, each point has many nuances and there are other aspects to take into account regarding, for example, production processes or the sustainability and CSR strategy. My great recommendation is to get good advice before investing a penny and, once you start, go for everything. What do you think of these recommendations? Do you think any of the important ones are missing? Do you disagree in any aspect? I will love to read you.