Major retailers like J.C. Penney, H&M, and Target are increasingly tapping into that consciousness with fashion lines made from recycled fabrics. But the catch is that the prices still need to be competitive with non-recycled garments to appeal to eco-minded consumers.
When the consumer behavior research firm America’s Research Group polled 1,000 Millennials earlier this year, they found that 38 percent would “respond positively” to environmentally friendly products and would pay 3 percent more for them on average, the Associated Press reported. In May, Unilever published results from market research in five countries that found a third of adult consumers are choosing brands they believe are sustainable.
This fall, J.C. Penney plans to introduce three styles of its Arizona brand jeans made with 20 percent polyester that comes from recycled plastic bottles. “Value is important to the J.C. Penney customer,” spokeswoman Sarah Holland told the Associated Press recently. “We knew the jeans had to be affordable.” The jeans will cost $36 to $42 apiece, she said.
Several years ago, H&M began introducing denim products made from recycled cotton. Currently the company sells jeans made from recycled fabric that are priced in the same $29.99 to $49.99 range as their other jeans.
Since 2015, Target has been partnered with Repreve, a recycled fiber brand made from materials like plastic bottles using a proprietary process. From July 2016 to April 2017, Target recycled nearly 250 million bottles this way, Julie Guggemos, Target’s senior vice president of product design and development told CBS Minnesota. Tags at Target say “responsible style” and “better for all” and have information about how much Repreve content is in the clothes, the Associated Press reported.
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