The 4 Green Fashion Consumers – Which One For You?

Ecopreneurist_jpegMarkerters are learning more and more about the various green consumers.  As many are not the traditional envionmental set, it’s necessary to define the subgroups and target your marketing accordingly.

Posted April 7, 2008, Ecopreneurist
By MC Milker

Green apparel, previously the purview of high end shoppers and new
mothers has entered the mainstream, driven by demand by eco-conscious
young consumers. Though the fashion industry thrives on planned
obsolescence, younger women, in particular, are finding ways to find a
middle ground between consumerism and green living.

“Gen Y and the Millennials are really driving this trend,” says Barbie M. Casasus,
senior director and consumer strategist at Iconoculture, based in
Minneapolis, adding that 20- to-28-year-olds represent about $520
billion in buying power and say they are willing to pay more for
organic and fair-trade products. “And they’re pretty passionate about
it. While it’s a category that is still in its infancy, the demand is

Eco-entrepreneurs have an opportunity to play a part in this growing
trend by focusing on this younger demographic and understanding their
needs. “Niche brands”, says David E. Wigder, SVP of Digitas “can find success promoting greener clothing.”

Notoriously fickle teens (Millennials) are driven by advertising and
big brand names, while Gen Yers, now in their 20s, are the ones more
likely to seek out small specialty brands to meet their needs. Deciding
which segment of the market to serve is key to developing a sound
marketing strategy to reach this group.
Iconoculture Global Insights recognizes 4 distinct green fashion consumers:

The Living Green consumer, who has
embraced the whole concept of the environmental lifestyle and is driven
by dedication, purity and awareness. “She is the most likely to be
eating organic foods. She’s finding new ways to use her old clothes,
shopping vintage and thrift shops, and buying clothes made of recycled

The Core Fashionista, “who is looking to build up
the green in her fashion portfolio,”. While this shopper wouldn’t be
caught dead in a hemp dress or tire-tread sandals, “she is rethinking
and redefining her sense of style and eco-chic. She sees herself in a
power position, and isn’t a slave to any trend. She’s picking and
choosing, looking to make small modifications.”

The Walking Green consumers, “driven by wanting to belong to a greater community. These are trend followers.”

The Spending Green profile, the shopper who buys
green clothes because “that sense of exclusivity and entitlement are
important to her. She embraced green when it was still very much a
luxury category, and she intends to keep it that way. For her, buying
green connotes luxury, not any kind of sacrifice.”

Are you pursuing one of these niches? How do you see your brand appealing to these new green fashion consumers?

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