Sustainability is a theme that impregnates our daily life in many aspects and areas. In fact, a revolution is needed in sustainable fashion and in various economic sectors to ensure the survival of the planet’s natural resources.
Ecologically and economically sustainable, socially and culturally diverse ideas, strategies and attitudes also give rise to so-called sustainable fashion.
The fashion industry and the economy, although at a slow pace, are rethinking their production system, with consumers increasingly demanding and sensitive to the issue of sustainability, the industry must adapt to new forms of consumption. It is a fact that this movement and the cultural and global needs demand new ways of doing things and oblige to rethink the processes of the different professions and services.
This, in addition to innovations in existing fields, ends up offering us new professions and new opportunities.
In the field of image consulting, new services and proposals are emerging which align and adapt to this new demand for sustainable fashion.
But what can the sensitive image consultant wish on the subject, in order to propose a new way of consuming?
The image consultant can help his client lead a more sustainable lifestyle:
1. The creation of a “capsule” collection that can be easily combined with each other, allowing the creation of multiple looks with a reduced number of clothes and a minimalist wardrobe, thus avoiding excessive consumption, without experiencing the feeling of being “always dressed the same way”.
2. Support towards a better knowledge of yourself, your tastes and needs, your personality and your goals, this awareness translates into a more conscious choice of clothes and accessories which inevitably leads you to resist to the calls of fast fashion and more reasonable consumption practice. We only buy what really makes sense and reflects our personality and needs.
3. The possibility of reusing old items, discovering them with the eyes of a professional and giving them a new life. Recycling is also an interesting “sustainable fashion” option that the image consultant can offer to his client. However, parts to throw away, in good condition (or because they no longer make sense, do not fit) can be given to charity shop. Often times, people who are not familiar with image consulting think it is giving away your entire wardrobe and buy more…but in fact there is buying less in the image consulting process. It is even an advantage for the client not to have to buy during and after an image consulting session.
But if necessary and when the customer wishes to buy new parts, the purchase being well thought out and privileging the versatile parts for their durability, as well as the longevity of the production process, the image consultant specialised in sustainable fashion can target more ethical, fair and eco-sustainable brands, bringing real added value to its customers.
If each of us, in our daily habits and in our trades and professions, implements a more sustainable and prudent behaviour and attitude, in a world of more than 7 billion people, we could really make a difference!
Buy Less, Choose well, Make it last!
The pandemic is known to have had a negative impact on fast fashion & retailing, affecting sales of several products in physical stores with record declines. At the same time, the clothing and accessories business of many brands began to operate more successfully via the Internet; and there has been a noticeable growth in local commerce with the flexibility of lockdown. The latter, far from the hustle and bustle of urban centers, offered more security and convenience to customers.
These aspects invite us to reflect on the effects of COVID-19 on fast fashion & consumers behaviour. Although we have lived with negative opinions which decreed the end of fashion at the start of the pandemic, since the deprivation of social cohabitation made it impossible to use many elements of our wardrobe and therefore deconstructed many. The sensory codes attributed to it, the signs of recovery in retailing give us other perspectives, which we will discuss below.
The effects of the pandemic on fashion consumption behaviour
Investing in rooms better suited to the home office is an example of these effects. There are still those who seek the alliance of comfort and sophistication in new acquisitions, so as not to cause problems of credibility for the professional image itself, nor of physical discomfort in the long working days remotely.
Clothing, accessories and makeup worn on a daily basis and on conference calls were frequently requested, showing that trend reports at the start of the pandemic which indicated minimal aesthetics, comfort and chic for these occasions were not wrong.
Revenge shopping, motivated by stress compensation for confinement, is also part of the effects of the current context. But their lifelong existence should be emphasised, as the pursuit of emotional relief often affects fashion consumer activities. The point is that this suppressed demand has generated benefits for the economy and for fashion retailing, which is showing signs of recovery in many countries.
However, some viewed such behaviour as extremely unnecessary and futile in the current scenario. These people have become very attached to the need for material detachment and are still getting rid of excess today. The sale of second-hand clothes, shoes and accessories, which supplies second-hand shops, is the result of all of this, besides the increase in the search for information on how to build a capsule wardrobe. .
The demand for second-hand items has also increased, which has led to the opening of new vintage online stores. The demand for sustainable fashion capable of minimising socio-environmental damage, which already existed before, has become even more important. To this same end, the hiring of image consultants, personal stylists and personal shopper has become more attractive and even a reality for many.
Demand for services and career transition in the image industry is growing
The restrictions imposed by the emergence of COVID-19 have not only had an impact on fashion consumption behaviour. For many, the moment has been the moment of resignation from their own identity and way of life, causing the need for image readjustment, whether on a personal, social and / or professional level.
Many find that using the services of a personal stylist, image consultant and personal shopper can offer invaluable advice in communicating image correlation strategies, creating directions in wardrobe reconstruction. and fashion consumption planning, in addition to an opportunity to experience greater self-knowledge and empowerment.
In addition, it is understood that these professionals are able to generate real savings in time and money, two very valuable advantages, especially in the current circumstances! Versatile solutions that make everyday clothing and accessories easier. If you are considering using these services in your area, or making a career transition, now is the right time to invest!
Text by Luiza Oliveira – Image Consultant and Personal Shopper trainer of our ESR Brazil unit.
Does expression of style decrease or become more pronounced with age? Many mature women can end up changing their style due to established labels that women over 60 can’t wear this or that, can’t have long hair, can’t let their hair gray, can’t wear tight clothes, etc. On the other hand, other women know very well how to assert their choices and “offer them” regardless of the opinions of others.
Baby boomer women are often experimenters, pioneers, they have already changed the world a lot (and continue to change). Their consumption habits and orientations are therefore innovative for this age group. Creating fashion for this niche is quite different, as the challenges start with modeling: the body keeps changing. Read shorter torso, enlarged waist, sharp spine curves, lower torso, and often limited movement for health reasons.
Thin and more sensitive skin also requires natural materials, preferably organic. Image and fashion consultants must be attentive to these changes if they are to serve this audience well.
Fabrics are also important points: quality, malleable fabrics, comfortable shoes, practicality when dressing and undressing must prevail. However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean the outfit is un styled.
Comfort yes, but with authenticity. The new seniors are a challenge for fashion, because they are demanding consumers, experienced and transformers of habits … After all, Baby Boomer has been transforming the world since the 1960s!
Cliché or not, we see that maturity and financial freedom allow these grandmothers to be themselves, let emerge the deepest aspects of themselves. The clothes have been a beautiful way of expressing to the world how beautiful, elegant, happy they feel in life, with themselves, with the choices they have made or still make today. More and more this generation, once “forgotten” by the fashion industry, by the youngest, is now integrating us into this wonderful world of knowledge, power, wisdom presented to us by advanced style.