Utku Tansel LLB, MBA is Mintel’s Retail Analyst and is accountable for our analysis and experiences masking European retail markets.
The style sector is seeing a heightened consciousness about its impression on local weather, which has been accelerated by the pandemic. As talked about in Mintel Trend Rethink Plastic, manufacturers and customers are reviewing their very own behaviours to forestall plastic air pollution. Our throwaway tradition can also be changing into a contentious difficulty and as highlighted in Mintel Pattern Hungry Planet, customers are on the lookout for methods to preserve the planet’s assets.
Over the previous yr now we have seen a variety of initiatives bringing footwear manufacturers extra in alignment with the idea of the round economic system. In gentle of this, we discover what steps European footwear retailers are taking to scale back their carbon footprint.
Race to turn out to be eco-friendly
Foot Locker Europe’s current transfer to open a brand new sustainability pushed retailer in Barcelona, Spain with recycled supplies resembling mannequins created from reused sneakers, is a transparent affirmation that sustainability is gaining additional traction in footwear, as highlighted in our newest Footwear Retailing Europe Report.
In September 2020, French outside model Salomon designed a pair of trainers which are fully recyclable. The thread used to stitch the footwear is similar materials as the remainder of the higher. The shoe’s higher, itself is constructed from recycled polyester, will be recycled once more into new thread for cloth, and the froth sole will be floor up and used within the model’s ski boots.
Savana, a sustainable Portuguese footwear firm, launched a brand new model, Contagious, made completely of 100% recyclable supplies. The skin of the shoe is fabricated from cork, recycled mesh and your entire lining is fabricated from 100% natural cotton. Zouri, one other Portuguese-based footwear model – which is understood for utilizing plastic waste collected from the ocean in its productive course of – is now utilizing apple waste in its merchandise. The model has launched a brand new vary of kids’s footwear utilizing apple peel as a fabric to make footwear.
In October 2020, clothier Rick Owens teamed up with French sustainable footwear label Veja to create a variety of eco-friendly footwear for the Autumn/Winter season. The collaboration is made up of two seasonally-appropriate knitted gadgets, combining Owens’ signature aesthetic with Veja’s eco-conscious messaging. Each fashions are absolutely sustainable and have Veja’s first-ever pure cork sole.
Rick Owens and Veja’s newest collaboration, 2020
In March 2021, footwear model Melissa teamed up with Paris-based “hardcore vegan” model Rombaut to launch a completely vegan assortment of jelly footwear. The Melissa x Rombaut assortment options two types which have been reinvented in vegan jelly type. Every pair is made out of fifty% recycled PVC sourced from manufacturing unit waste and 30% bio-based renewable carbon content material.
Upcycled Melissa x Rombaut collaboration, 2021
Retailers want to have a look at rental & second-hand
Each shopping for and promoting second-hand, and renting, tie in with Mintel Pattern Why Purchase. These two channels of consumption are examples of how the round economic system is now penetrating many points of life. As well as, retailers may spotlight the cash saving facet of those fashions because the added worth of a sustainable retail expertise to customers.
As a part of any technique to broaden and diversify the vary of companies they provide, specialist retailers needs to be taking a look at different methods during which their clients can purchase, use and get rid of footwear. Mintel Pattern Possession Evolution highlights how, within the UK, Gen Z is placing their very own twist on what possession appears like with sustainability main the best way. Slightly than eradicating the idea of possession altogether, Mintel knowledge on trend and sustainability reveals that almost 1 / 4 of UK Gen Z customers have rented trend gadgets, whereas twice as many customers have purchased second-hand trend gadgets. In the meantime, peer-to-peer marketplaces, like Vinted, proceed to reimagine what shopping for second-hand can appear to be, and types have the chance to pre-empt the creation of peer-to-peer marketplaces that threaten their enterprise by creating their very own.
What we expect
Robust environmental credentials may nicely turn out to be a transparent product differentiator throughout Europe. It needs to be famous that it might be fairly a problem to speak the advantages and the general sustainability initiative to customers. In an effort to overcome this, retailers may provide varied incentives to faucet into the chance and with the difficulty of waste excessive on the agenda, they need to be taking a look at how they encourage their clients to recycle undesirable footwear. A technique they may do that is through a reward scheme (maybe linked to a wider loyalty scheme). We’ve seen retailers like TK Maxx within the UK trialling a scheme which rewards clients by exchanging undesirable gadgets for vouchers that may be spent in retailer, whereas the US start-up For Days provides store credit in return for garments they now not put on, that are then resold or recycled.
Moreover, specialist footwear retailers may have a look at creating areas in-store and on-line devoted to sustainable footwear, in order that clients can select merchandise primarily based on their environmental preferences. For instance, we’ve seen on-line large Amazon launch an ‘eco-friendly’ buying platform providing greater than 40,000 sustainable merchandise, initially within the US, however this has now been rolled out to Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the UK.
Sooner or later we’re prone to see far more of a “purchase much less, purchase higher” strategy, with a divided wardrobe, with rented gadgets sitting alongside second-hand or classic gadgets. By partaking with these modes of consumption, conventional retailers may leverage their bricks & mortar shops so as to add a brand new layer of comfort whereas additionally drawing in a youthful buyer. Such companies reply to 2 kinds of buyer – these which are involved in regards to the atmosphere and wish to scale back their impression, and people for whom worth and saving cash are extra necessary drivers.