by Stephen Garner

Farfetch has published its first annual Conscious Luxury Trends Report looking at how luxury consumers are shopping more responsibly.

The online fashion platform’s new Conscious Luxury Trends Report finds that customer behavior on the platform changed significantly in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic with a surge in luxury customers choosing to shop more consciously and brands and boutiques on Farfetch responding to rising consumer demand by consolidating and increasing their commitments to improve their impact on the planet. Farfetch uses a set of independently backed criteria to qualify what it classifies as “conscious” products on the platform.

For products to be considered “conscious,” they must adhere to one of the following criteria: be made of independently recognized or certified materials (e.g. organic, recycled, and upcycled fabrics, low impact cellulosic materials, etc.), have been created via a certified production process, be pre-owned or belong to a brand that scores well with ethical rating agency Good on You.

Key findings from 2020 include that consumers are choosing to shop more responsibly across the world – Mexico experienced the strongest growth globally in conscious shopping with +341 percent year-on-year growth in Conscious GMV 2019/2020; Asian countries are demonstrating a forward-thinking approach to brands, often adopting emerging conscious brands before the rest of the world

The report also found that consumer awareness is driving transformation – the sale of conscious products grew 3.4x faster than the marketplace average over 2020 driven by Farfetch’s broader offering and increased consumer interest; traffic to conscious pages on farfetch.com quadrupled year-on-year and following the pandemic there has been a dramatic rise in the use of the sustainability filter on farfetch.com.

Circular fashion initiatives are also resonating with customers – customers are increasingly utilizing services that help them extend the life of their clothes; Farfetch’s “Second Life” resale service grew 527 percent YoY whilst our donations service grew 662 percent. Sales of and views of Pre-owned items also saw huge growth.

And, boutiques and brands are taking action to meet consumer demand – small luxury brands including Alighieri, Bode, and Veja, are leading the charge in terms of conscious practice; established luxury brands including Burberry, Gucci, and Prada have launched successful conscious collections.

The online fashion platform is also launching an enhanced version of its Fashion Footprint Tool, in partnership with IOF.earth which allows consumers to easily understand the impact of their fashion choices. The new tool also includes a short fact per material to cover some of the wider fashion sustainability issues, for example, microplastics. In addition, the tool allows customers to see the potential environmental savings of incorporating pre-owned purchases into their wardrobes.

“We’re delighted to be launching our first annual report exploring how luxury consumers are shopping more consciously and how the world’s leading brands and boutiques are responding to these changes,” said Thomas Berry, director of sustainable business at Farfetch. “2020 saw a rapid acceleration of the move online and, as our report finds, a surge in consumers choosing to shop more positively.”

José Neves, founder, CEO, and chairman of Farfetch, added: “As a platform for the luxury industry we are uniquely positioned to enable positive change in many different ways. We want to be the platform for good in luxury, one that enables and empowers everyone from our brand and boutique partners and customers to the broader luxury sector to think, act and choose positively.”