Marketing in the fashion industry: Brand values and ethical purposes

When we talk about being fashionable, we are not only talking about the fashion industry in general, we are also talking about wearing a specific style at a specific time, and that is vital in marketing in the fashion industry.

We always talk about being fashionable, meaning wearing clothes that are stylish or popular at a particular time. If it is not at that specific moment in time, you are not being so fashionable. We also talk about seasons, because we don’t wear the same clothes throughout the year, we wear clothing depending on the season we are in. Brands change their seasonal collections with high-end brands releasing about 5-6 collections a year, a really beautiful chaos for marketing in the fashion industry.

We also refer to Fashion eras when we talk about style be it pop, vintage, 90s casual and so on. These refer to a past fashion periods, some of which have been rediscovered and reused now. That is why, today, time has a great weight in the values of the brands in the sector. Whether it is the expiration of a style or the durability of garments, time is the current debate among brands in the sector. 

Today, with the rise of new ideological trends around environmentalism, corporate social responsibility, ethical production and animalism, new internal concepts are emerging in the fashion world with new proposals that go against the western vision of fashion that we had established in marketing in the fashion industry and that many customers are already assuming. These new concepts are the ones that are framed in what today we can call Slow Fashion.

New concepts and brand values in the fashion industry

We have just introduced you to the concept of Slow Fashion, which arises from this new perspective of consumer responsibility, but the pejorative term Fast Fashion is used as if it were a football derby. We refer to this as the business model based on the mass production of medium-low quality products, at the lowest possible cost and with very temporary collections that are constantly changing. This generates a need to constantly buy clothes by consumers who want to be fashionable, resulting in a lot of textile waste.

At first sight, this Slow Fashion trend can be seen from a brand perspective as a case of greenwashing, but although we do not deny that this happens in big brands and corporations. When we talk about Slow Fashion we refer primarily to small producers and distributors who make these garments from minimum parameters and with quality certificates. We also refer not only to the production of new garments, but also to the second hand, customization, and reuse of products.

Slow vs Fast Fashion: a marketing perspective

Although we could talk a lot about the fashion industry, we want to focus on the sector from a marketing perspective. Applying a global look at the industry, everything has great importance. When dealing with brands within Slow Fashion, the social and ecological commitment means that productions are smaller. So stock is smaller and tends to be in limited runs, generating a discontinuity in sales.

But at the same time generating a certain wait for consumers by establishing many temporary campaigns. All this also has repercussions on a lower presence in shops, making the products less accessible and more expensive.

On the other hand, dealing with the context of Fast Fashion, in this case we are talking about garments generally made in low-income countries by workers in exploitative labour situations, with lower quality raw materials and non-ecological treatments. In this way, companies can count on a large stock, at a very low price and in constant renewal.

These two contexts have a direct impact on the brand values of companies and therefore on their campaigns. While brands adhering to the first trend promote concepts of timelessness, quality and sustainability, Fast Fashion brands do not usually display brand values. But only focus on the aesthetic virtue of the products and the predominant style of the moment. In addition, promotions and sales are commonplace.

By adjusting to the particularities of each business, while in the case of Slow Fashion we seek an organic response from current and potential future customers, generating engagement and giving them strong sales arguments that stand up to higher prices and design that is sometimes not up to date and requires a different kind of commitment from consumers.

On the other hand, in Fast Fashion what we are looking for is an impulsive, instant purchase. That is why the strategies are based on paid campaigns through social networks and web based on the general aesthetics of the collections and with the hook of low prices. We don’t need a big engagement and big sales arguments; we just need to show the style of the moment and the low prices.

«That is why, today, time has a great weight in the values of the brands in the sector. Whether it is the expiration of styles or the durability of garments, time is the current debate among brands in the sector.»

Brands in transition

Earlier we talked about how Slow and Fast fashion generally also referred to small and large fashion producers. But today, because of active listening to consumers, some big brands are reorienting their production models or at least their brand values towards a context of sustainability. Today we are going to discuss two examples of brands that are not 100% Slow Fashion, but are adopting perspectives related to this niche:

Adolfo Dominguez

Adolfo Domínguez introduced their campaign “Repite más. Piensa menos.”, in English “Repeat more. Think less.” two years ago but is using it again now with the intervention of thinkers. This campaign calls out to the public to buy less clothes but with more quality, create a personal atemporal style and destress without having to overthink what to wear in daily life beyond fads and fashions.


At the same time, Levi’s introduce their new campaign with a very similar concept but with storytelling of reutilizing and revitalising and giving a new style to your jeans. With the claim “When they’re made to last, we can all waste less. I Buy Better. Wear Longer.”. They talk about the quality of their products, this gives their clients a purchasing argument using the same concept about fashion and buying less but with better quality. 

And you, what do you think about all this? Are you one of those who have already switched to 100% Slow Fashion, are you in transition or are you still interested in Fast Fashion? If you want to keep up to date with all these new trends from a marketing and advertising perspective, follow us on our social networks to be the first to find out about everything.

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