It's fair to say that 2020 was a tornado of a year.
It tore through structures, institutions, economies, unearthing our sense of mortality, destroying our certainties, and leaving a generous helping of distress in its wake. But is that all it did?
If we assess the damage, we see the ramifications are indeed far reaching, and sure, our economy and the retail sector at large will take a while to recover to even a semblance of what they were, however zooming in on the retail landscape reveals its biggest casualties were in fact the high street dinosaurs who were forced to retreat or evolve.
The ethics of job losses and the knock on impact of the high streets demise aside, it begs the question, what does it mean for us, the smaller, more agile brands and services who have social impact and purpose fundamentally built into our core?
As a socially conscious enterprise with social impact at its foundation we entered the christmas season with trepidation, aware the average price point of our accessories would always be at the top end of one's winter wear budget, and experience told us consumers wanted more bang for their buck than is sustainably possible, declaring our price point the unmoving pain point.
However we’re glad to report that something interesting happened. With the vacuous nature of fast fashion exposed and its relevance diminishing in tandem with the decline of our social lives, unconscious shopping is increasingly being replaced by purpose and ethics with the 2021 business of fashion report noting that “66% of consumers said they would stop or reduce shopping at a brand if they found it was unfair to its workers”. Putting ethics squarely at the forefront of more than half of consumers.
Glow and See’s sales reflect this trend, skyrocketing with a 300% increase confirming WGSNs prediction that states the need for brands to bake social purpose into their ventures.
The inertia of discounted sales and the intentional ignorance of business as usual has begun to wear off, with consumers taking a peak behind the veil of posterity that has long shrouded the dark side of our consumerism
It would seem we’ve acquired a thirst for purpose with shoppers questioning the very foundations and structures of society they previously so heavily relied on, craving answers, and demanding both the private and public sectors address not only the symptoms but the root causes.
We see this ripple effect influencing the way individuals gift, with a marked rise within the responsible gifting trend illustrated by our own 25% hike in sales bought as gifts compared to a meagre 12% in 2019. Proving consumers are more likely to spend thoughtfully, despite the economic uncertainty 2021 brings.
This trend is a slice of things to come and at Glow we’re thrilled to be part of the change that will see our consumption habits begin to have a positive impact on the world. We don’t believe the answer to consumerism is as simple as disengagement but instead positive engagement, through spending thoughtfully and knowing your fiscal consumption has power to move the needle in the right direction with every penny spent.