PROCUREMENT

A New Dawn: How Brand Transparency in Fashion Became a Must 

May 02, 2024

Marketing News

A New Dawn: How Brand Transparency in Fashion Became a Must 

It is not groundbreaking to announce that modern consumers demand transparency from the brands they engage with. 

For years now, consumers have been showing an increasing desire for brands to be authentic, genuine, human led, and to share their morals. Brands such as Fenty Beauty and Rare Beauty have garnered quite the following due to their success in being transparent, inclusive and up front with their consumers. 

In fact, studies have shown that 94% of consumers are more inclined to be loyal to a brand that practises complete transparency, over one that doesn’t.

Consumers have, in particular, been demanding increased amounts of brand transparency in fashion. 

Our new era of transparency has led many consumers to look deeper into the brands that they purchase from. TikTok in particular has greatly contributed to consumers gaining a better understanding of the industries they purchase from, and how to critically analyse brands.

As such, many popular brands have come under fire in recent years for dodgy practices, a lack of inclusivity, and a complete disregard for the values that their target audience hold. 

Documentaries with the intent of exposing the lack of brand transparency in fashion have become increasingly popular as a result. Consumers flock to watch these films, clamouring to get a glimpse of the latest brand being scrutinised. 

Yet, what makes these documentaries so popular? And, what role has social media played in the increasing demand for brand transparency in fashion

Read on to find out. 

BRAND TRANSPARENCY IN FASHION: FASHION DOCUMENTARIES 

@iamdulma

Reply to @.jchr #branding #marketing #skincare #dieuxskin #kravebeauty #everlane #marketingtips

♬ original sound – Dulma 🦋

Fashion documentaries have been a consistently popular form of media for decades now. 

Traditionally, a fashion documentary sought to provide viewers with a behind the scenes look at their favourite fashion houses. Films such as “Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist” and “Dior and I” gained immense popularity through the glimpse into the exclusive world of high end fashion they gave viewers. 

Yet, in recent years, fashion documentaries have taken a far more important role than simply showing off the elite fashion industry. 

Modern documentaries seek to show viewers the darker side of the industry and the need for brand transparency in fashion. Films such as “The True Cost” aim to show the impact that the industry has on our planet, and educate consumers so that they are able to make smarter purchasing decisions. 

However, the latest wave of fashion documentaries dive even deeper. Recent films instead focus on the ill practices of some of the most popular fashion brands in the world. “Brandy Hellville and the Cult of Fast Fashion” and “White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie and Fitch” have caused quite the stir on social media, due to their uncovering of many misdemeanours and horrific practicings in the companies. 

@hbo

It all comes apart at the seams. #BrandyHellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion, an #HBO Original Documentary that uncovers the toxic origins and culture of the teen brand and the global ramifications of mass-produced clothing, premieres April 9 on @streamonmax.

♬ original sound – HBO – HBO

These more cut throat documentaries perform exceptionally well with audiences. Consumers, armed with their knowledge of the fashion industry given to them by TikTok, want more than ever to properly understand the brands that they shop from. They want utter and total brand transparency in fashion and beyond.

Consumers apply the same mindset to brands that they do to the influencers and creators that they follow on social media. They seek out brands that are authentic in the way they conduct business, and carry out exceptional social listening. 

These days, it is not enough for a brand to simply promise it is doing the right thing. If your brand is seeking to engage with modern audiences, especially those in the Gen-Z bracket, then you must be able to back up your claims with evidence and offer up exceptional brand transparency in fashion

@wannabee.romcom

raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Abercrombie

♬ original sound – wannabee.romcom

Whilst outside of the fashion industry, a fantastic example is Apple, who have long been a staunch supporter of LGBTQIA+ rights. The company makes supporting the LGBTQIA+ community a part of its business model, with unique and authentic Pride activations every year, an openly gay CEO, extensive support for Queer employees, and voicing its opinions on anti-LGBTQIA+ legislations. 

In doing so, Apple is showing its consumers that it is committed to the betterment of society. It is transparent in its morals, and authentic. The company is transparent and open about its beliefs, and this speaks to consumers who share these opinions. 

As such, consumers are far more likely to trust and purchase from Apple. In contrast, consumers are far less likely to buy from brands such as Brandy Mellville, who have always been secretive about their business, morals, and workplaces, and deliberately elusive when questioned. 

BRAND TRANSPARENCY IN FASHION: WHAT TO DO?

So, what can your brand do to cater to this burgeoning consumer need for brand transparency in fashion, as well as authenticity, and morality? 

Simply put, honour brand transparency in fashion at every turn. 

Consumers are armed with an unprecedented level of media literacy. They are able to see through any company decision that is not authentic, hence why many brands have caught practising green washing, pink washing, and rainbow washing. 

Make sure your company morals are at the heart of everything you do. Make these morals clear and open for any consumer to see. Uphold them in every decision you make, business or otherwise. 

Social media is a fantastic way to show off your company to your target audience. Having a social media account on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, allows your company to show your audience the many ways you strive to better yourselves and the world around you. 

@grantalexandr

Let’s talk brand transparency! . . #fashion #fashionblogger #fashionstyle #podcast #fashionpodcast #sustainablefashion

♬ original sound – Grant Alexander

Use your social media to document the charity events your company supports, or the different employee support groups that exist. Have employees speak about what they love about the company, and their favourite ways to give back. 

Ultimately, social media allows your consumers to get an inside look at your company and the people behind it. This establishes your brand as authentic, human led and transparent; inspiring trust and brand loyalty in your target audience. 

Remaining genuine on your social media and in your day to day as a company is essential to appealing to the modern consumer. Carry yourself with pride, uphold your values, and take time to show your audience you care about what they think. 

All in all, increased consumer awareness of social media and businesses in general has led to a spike in the need for brands to be transparent and authentic. Documentaries that expose the misdoings of popular brands cater to audiences’ desire for an inside scoop into what goes on behind closed doors. 

This new era of increased social media and business literacy is forcing businesses to pull up their socks and listen to what consumers want; bringing on a better tomorrow for everyone.

Our influencer marketing agency and social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to find industry insights, visit our influencer marketing and social media blogs.

@sociallypowerful

Author

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Annette Klar

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