Online retailers are bringing sustainable fashion closer to people

Online retailers are bringing sustainable fashion closer to people

There’s no place like home, so we should do everything in our power to keep it in the best possible shape. Every year, more and more people are expressing their concerns about the environment, that’s why the fashion industry is continuously looking for sustainable, eco-friendly products to offer their customers. While there are a number of ways how to go green, there are also many reasons which are often forgotten. Taking the time to understand these reasons will motivate you to follow this very important trend. 

Google trends show that with every year, the search for ‘sustainable fashion’ keeps exponentially growing.

If you were to look for an environmentally friendly version of a certain piece of apparel, say, in 2012, finding one would not have been easy. If you’d google it, you’d perhaps come across a few options from small sustainability-focused blogs, or if you knew any, you might go directly to the websites of a few trustworthy retailers to browse their listings.

Source: Printify

What you almost certainly couldn’t do was go to any of the leading fashion sites and filter out listings that might align with your ethics. But as demand for ethically-made goods increases, that’s what e-commerce retailers are trying to make possible. According to data from over 12,000 online stores, searches, including sustainability-related keywords, increased by 75% in 2019. And while there’s been a gap between what people say their values are and how they actually shop and it has been well documented over the years, it finally appears to be closing. The customer who’s been saying that they care about how their clothes are made is starting to put their money where their mouth is. 

What does going green in eCommerce mean?

Retailers who are looking to convert the aforementioned consumer interest into sales, face a few challenges. For example, how to decide what brands or products to promote as ‘sustainable’ or ethical? Where to draw the line around ‘responsible fashion’ and what words to use in product descriptions? It has always been tricky. If you use such hard-to-prove words like ‘sustainable,’ you could get accused of greenwashing. However, if you exclude it, you could lose a customer who’s relying on ‘sustainable’ as a search term to find what they’re looking for.

Keywords like ‘eco fashion,’ ‘sustainable fashion,’ and ‘vintage fashion,’ have become important customer acquisition drivers for many online stores.  

So, what does ‘sustainability’ really mean? 

Source: Stanley Stella, Organic cotton T-Shirts

 The concept behind ‘sustainability’ is learning and practicing an environmentally-conscious lifestyle with a goal of protecting the environment and preservation and conservation of the natural resources. It is important to practice a green lifestyle because if we don’t, the consequences could be dire — lack of clean air, drinking water, food, or even exposure to climate changes and temperatures that could lead to global warming and life-threatening illnesses.

So because it’s becoming more and more important to so many people, it absolutely makes sense for entrepreneurs to include organic cotton garments and other eco-friendly print on demand products to their eCommerce stores. 

What are the economic benefits

Source: Unsplash

One of the most significant economic benefits of going green is that it’s cost-saving. The use of renewable energy helps reduce energy consumption, which in turn helps save money used on electricity bills.

There’s also recycling. Recyclable products last way longer than other products, thus saving money that would otherwise be used for repair and maintenance. Recycled products are also cheaper and help save on production costs, for it would have been costly to create new products from scratch. Reduction of waste also helps save the cost of waste disposal.

What are environmental benefits

An obvious advantage of going green is the environmental benefits. Going green can help save the rainforests, thus preserving the animal habitat and ecosystem from which we’re oh so dependent.  

Going green through organic farming means responsible farming practices and land use. Organic agriculture reduces greenhouse gases emission and thus lowers air pollution. In the next few paragraphs, I’ll explain in detail, why you, as an online entrepreneur, should include organic cotton garments in your eCommerce store.

Why choose organic cotton? 

What do we really know about the most popular non-food crop in the world, cotton? Non-organic cotton accounts for more than 50% of all fiber needs worldwide, and to keep up with this demand, growers resort to artificial means and excessive use of pesticides to make the crops grow faster. Non-organic cotton farming uses more insecticides than any other crop in the world — it has even earned the ‘award’ of being the dirtiest crop in the world: It consumes 16% of the world’s insecticides and requires 2 billion dollars in pesticides every year. These chemicals are toxic, thus harmful not only to farmers and workers but also to consumers and entire wildlife as well.

Did you know that the production of a single non-organic cotton t-shirt takes 713 gallons (2’700 liters) of water? That’s a crazy amount of water. 

The solution?

You guessed it — organic cotton. Organic cotton is produced and certified to organic agricultural standards with no artificial inputs. It uses significantly less water to grow — organic cotton farmers typically utilize rainwater way more than irrigation. Plus, organic cotton farmers use beneficial insects to control undesired pests instead of relying on harmful chemicals, therefore encouraging biodiversity. 

It’s commonly known that chemicals used in non-organic cotton farming relate directly to the various skin allergies. The better part of people with skin problems has reported a dramatic improvement in their condition once they switched to organic cotton garments and bedding. 

When you opt to include sustainable, eco-friendly products in your eCommerce store, you support water conservation, cleaner air, better soil, and farmer livelihoods. Therefore, the price of organic cotton is sometimes a bit higher (but not always, as you can see, Printify offers very well-priced organic cotton garments).

Supporting organic agriculture is essential if we are to create improved working conditions for cotton growers because farming organic cotton is more regulated, thus, fairly traded.

Printify and print-on-demand sustainable fashion 

print on demand drop shipping printify

We here at Printify are no strangers to the green movement. Not only do we practice sustainability in our day to day office life, but we’re also huge advocates for protecting our planet. We work with many different print providers across the world, which allows us to avoid overproduction. In essence, the print-on-demand business model produces significantly less waste, because we have no pre-produced goods, hence, ‘on-demand.’ Print-on-demand is one of the most cost-effective and planet-friendly models out there. We only produce what your clients order. No more, no less.

By going through a careful vetting process, during which we selected the most popular high demand eco-friendly products to include in our catalog, and there’s more where it came from — we’ll be adding even more sustainable products in the upcoming weeks. So which are the most popular eco-friendly products? 

Organic cotton t-shirt

As you already know, garments made of natural materials are gentler for your skin and can be recycled. With our 100% organic cotton t-shirts, you can get creative without compromising what’s important — our planet. Made of responsibly sourced, organic cotton, which your customers will love. Create your own!

Reusable shopping bags

How many plastic bags do you have? Take a look in that kitchen drawer where you tuck away all those baggies after shopping. Now, take a guess how many of them will linger on our planet long after you’re gone. Reusable bags are usually made of woven cotton fibers which are incredibly durable. And even though online grocery shopping is getting more popular as we speak, your customers still can use the pretty custom tote for other activities. Create your own!

Biodegradable phone cover ( Coming soon)

Protect your most precious piece of mobile device with a beautiful, biodegradable case which will make your clients ditch the cheap plastic alternatives for sure — because we tend to change our devices more often than we used to, the discarded protective cases create a huge plastic waste. But even though our eco-friendly phone covers are gentle to the environment, they are still very durable. 

Note: The product will available soon on Printify. Stay tuned!

Reusable beverage containers

Usually, a person drinks around one and a half liters of water daily. Imagine how much money and time you would spend if you went and bought a new plastic water bottle every time you were thirsty. That’s why reusable water bottles make your customers’ lives easier, plus serves as a reminder to hydrate; it’s a healthy psychological side-effect because once the customer has invested in something more lasting, they tend to use it more often.

Besides, print-on-demand reusable water bottles are cute – you can offer designs that match your customers’ personality or even different activities – one bottle for office hours, and another for hitting the gym! The same goes with reusable stainless steel take away cups. Create your own!

Conclusion

The last couple of years have been amazing for the market of eco-friendly products, and we think it’s time the eCommerce took the lead. Online shopping and international shipping can bring in more money. People will always keep buying clothes and accessories, it’s just in our nature. But as we grow wiser and wiser in regards to the importance of sustainability, in regards to the protection of our natural resources, it makes sense to offer people what they look for, which is to satisfy their fashion cravings. But in a planet-friendly, ethical manner. 

Make it happen right now.

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