GfK Study: 3.7% of textiles carry an eco-label
The proportion of textiles sold which bore an eco-label in 2012 was 3.7% of the German market as a whole. Such are the findings of a regular GfK survey in Nuremberg. While GfK reports a decline in sales of more than 4% for the overall textile market from January to March 2013, textiles with an eco-label were able to keep a constant share compared to the first quarter of 2012. This is what Petra Dillemuth of the GfK announced at the Sustainability Fashion Day, run by the trade magazine TM (Textilmitteilung) in Düsseldorf.
Compared to the lead given by the food market, the sales proportion of 3.7% is not insignificant for the still very young segment of green fashion, even though it is clear that, when it comes to textiles with an eco-label, we are still dealing with a niche market. Barely a quarter of consumers consider aspects of environmental and social acceptability to be important when they buy clothes and shoes. For foodstuffs, it is almost half.
For its survey, the GfK polls around 17,000 consumers every month about their textile purchases. For the purposes of the analysis, all certifications and labels that are indicated by the consumers themselves as eco-labels are included. Given the jungle of labels in Germany, the notion of “textiles with an eco-label” is, therefore, an extremely broad one.
The most popular products amongst eco-textiles are not so much fashion items (clothes), but mainly interior (25%) and home textiles (20%), as well as hosiery (19%) and underwear (16%). The fact that these product groups are, to a large extent, bought in self-service stores and supermarkets also explains why the proportion of products with an eco-label is above-averagely high there.
In summary, Petra Dillemuth concludes that the proportion of eco-textiles will not significantly increase in the short to mid-term. The market divides into price-conscious and quality-conscious consumers. This remains true, even though the awareness of quality amongst customers has increased significantly over the last ten years (2003: 41%; 2012: 58%). There continues to be a major disparity between what people say they want and their actual purchasing behaviour.