Sustainability has hit an inflection point in the global fashion market, with brand commitments and consumer interest towards sustainable fashion on the rise. How can fashion brands share stories of their sustainable efforts with consumers in ways that draw them into the journey?

As fashion brands develop their sustainability strategies, it is imperative for them to take a holistic view of what sustainability means to consumers to better align their visions and offerings to consumers’ expectations. Eastman’s U.S. Sustainable Leader Consumer Community was designed to tap into the minds of sustainably minded Americans across different industries. Here are some insights from the research that have the potential to drive sustainable innovation across the global fashion market.

Purchasing priorities

Across categories, the most important factors to consumers when making purchase decisions relate to product quality, performance, and price. Sustainability, even among sustainably minded Americans, falls towards the bottom of purchase criteria lists. As brands look to incorporate more sustainable offerings into their product lines, these offerings cannot sacrifice the product performance elements most important to consumers. Brands hoping to use sustainability as a differentiator must become adept at showcasing how their sustainable offerings meet or exceed consumers’ primary expectations.

Brand building

Sustainably minded Americans have a difficult time finding apparel, cosmetics, and electronics containing sustainable materials and/or packaging. First movers to offer sustainable materials in these categories and effectively market them to consumers could be rewarded with higher margins and increased customer loyalty.

Materials matter

Across products, sustainably minded Americans view material selection as the No. 1 factor in determining whether or not a product is sustainable. In fact, 7 in 10 sustainably minded Americans say materials define the sustainability of an apparel item, making fiber selection core to a brand’s evolution to become a sustainable leader. However, less than 1 in 5 fibers consumed in the global textile industry are considered sustainable according to the Textile Exchange, making it difficult for consumers to find the sustainable fibers they are seeking.

Guidance gap

Opportunities exist for apparel brands to promote their sustainable offerings across the consumer shopping journey. Nearly 3 in 4 sustainably minded Americans say they want apparel brands to provide sustainability information on hangtags, followed by certifications, websites, and store signage. Consumers are relying on apparel brands to provide product sustainability information across their shopping journey, so no matter where their journey with the brand starts, they get the information they need to feel confident in their purchase. Brands that use environment-friendly clothing materials can bridge the gap between sustainability commitments and consumer needs. Garments made with Eastman Naia™ cellulosic fiber deliver on both style and sustainability, helping brands increase their customer base while positioning themselves as sustainable leaders.

Naia™ transforms into luxurious, comfortable, and easy-to-care-for fabrics with supreme softness, improved dry rates, and reduced pilling. With full transparency from tree to fiber, Naia™ is responsibly sourced from sustainably managed pine and eucalyptus forests and plantations. It is produced in a safe, closed-loop process where solvents are recycled back into the system for reuse. Naia™ is OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 Product Class I certified and made with no hazardous chemicals listed on the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List.

Naia™ has an optimized, low-impact manufacturing process with a low tree-to-fiber carbon and water footprint. It has a third-party reviewed life cycle assessment compliant with ISO 14044 and is favorably ranked on the Higg Materials Sustainability Index. Naia™ also has TÜV AUSTRIA ‘OK biodegradable’ certification for freshwater and soil environments and the ‘OK compost’ certification for industrial and home settings.

Learn more about how Naia™ can be the starting point in the sustainable journey of any fabric or garment at