Everyone on the planet is a consumer. As consumers, it is essential to remain knowledgeable about the food we eat, the clothing we buy, and ultimately how our purchasing choices make personal, local, and global impacts.
An excellent way to remain on top of these things is to examine shopping trends. It’s not enough to read into trends every once and a while. Trends change on micro levels all the time, and significant changes in consumption happen every year– especially in the fashion industry. Of all the fashion retailers on the market right now, The Real Real has kept themselves the most up-to-date with these trends. They’ve changed their entire branding, outlook, and sales tactic to meet consumer needs.
And in 2020, they want to help you understand shopping trends so you can be a better, more informed consumer.
1) Sustainability and Supporting the Circular Economy Should Be At The Forefront of Your Shopping Habits.
Now that it’s 2020, it’s time to get real about the environment. With the climate change issues happening now – from the great garbage patch to the massive fires ravaging Australia – there’s no denying that climate change is real. Unfortunately, everything we do impacts global carbon emissions, which ultimately contribute to climate change. However, there are ways to lessen our impact on all levels of consumerism.
Brands like The Real Real are at the forefront of tackling environmental concerns caused by the fashion industry. Many of the countries in which fast fashion garments are produced have lower environmental standards than the United States and the UK, and 90% of the pollution from creating synthetic fibers and dying clothing is dumped directly into rivers and eventually into our oceans. 85% of the pollution on beaches is microfiber pollution, which is caused by washing synthetic and cheaply-made clothing. Finally, only 15% of apparel worldwide is donated. Because such a large percentage of clothing is made of synthetic fibers, it can take hundreds of years for clothing to decompose in landfills.
Purchasing secondhand goods, and especially secondhand goods that are made to last, helps reduce the need for new items and keeps things out of landfills. In a time when it is more important than ever to make individual and wide-ranging impacts, secondhand retailers like The Real Real are bound to make a considerable change.
2) Buy From Brands Who Care About Their Products.
The famous French author, Albert Camus, once wrote, “above all, in order to be, never try to seem.”
There is a nugget of truth to this, which can apply itself to the way companies do business. You can tell the difference between a company that cares about the outcome, that is – the product and the customer itself—and a company that cares only about turning a profit. This is apparent in the number of drop-shipping companies that have overtaken Amazon Prime. When you purchase from a company that tries hard to be something it isn’t you can tell.
Buying from brands who care about their products, however, has a profound effect. For instance, when you purchase from The Real Real, you get quality products for less than they go for retail. Additionally, because of the brand’s commitment to the environment, your purchase is directly helping keep usable clothing out of landfills and get them into the closets of people who need them.
3) Streamline Your Purchasing Habits, But Don’t Forget Brick-and-Mortar Stores.
Online purchasing is one trend that isn’t going anywhere. Consumers have less time to go to physical stores to shop, so being able to purchase things from a phone or computer has made it easy to get the things people need on their own time. For retailers like The Real Real, who sell high-end luxury goods, this has meant overcoming some of the hurdles of online selling – namely, authentication. Rather than thinking of online stores like The Real Real as places to navigate the dangers of online purchases, The Real Real has worked on synthesizing their physical presence at pop-up shops with their online personality.
By not being afraid to show people that they can authenticate brands in-person as well as online, high-end resale brands like The Real Real have been able to win over customers and save them valuable time, as well as lower their stress levels.
4) Find Ways to Save Money While Also Enriching Your Lifestyle.
Consumer habits of generations before were focused on buying in quantity. That’s what heralded the rise of big bulk-buy stores like Sam’s Club and Costco. These stores might be economically savvy for buying in bulk for a family, but they don’t work to save money on your fashion purchase. Often, the clothing sold at these retailers is not high-quality and falls apart soon after purchase. When you must buy clothing more often because it is of lower quality, you end up making a significant (and unsustainable) impact on your wallet.
Think of buying high-end resale items, like those found at The Real Real, as an investment. Many people cannot afford full-price luxury items. Unfortunately, they miss out on the quality stitching, fabric, and time that goes into creating these items. Luxury resale gives everyone the chance to purchase lightly-used luxury items in a price range that works for them. When more people can invest in things that stand the test of time, less money comes out of their pockets in the long run. Best of all? Fewer items of clothing end up making it to landfills.
If we had to summarize a theme for 2020’s shopping habits, it would likely be self-care. This decade is shifting to consuming in a way that makes sense for the individual as well as global well-being. While previous decades have been successful in changing consumer mindset around consumables like food, it isn’t enough to stop with food. The cyclical economy needs to include all consumable items, and consumers are slowly beginning to realize that every purchase they make has an impact. Resale clothing purchase is the next big step we need to make as consumers to make a dent in the things we care about, and The Real Real is one of the companies making that happen.
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