Do you ever get confused by fashion brands and retailers calling their garments ‘silky’, ‘mesh’, ‘fleece’, ‘crochet’, or ‘satin’? You might be surprised to learn that none of these descriptors actually refer to the fabric of the garment – instead, they relate to the way the garment feels or has been weaved. Why aren’t we told the fabric of our clothes? Why can’t we filter by fabric?
This is one of my biggest pet peeves in fashion – not being able to tell what a garment is made out of. And it’s why I’m wholeheartedly supporting the new #FilterByFabric Campaign, hosted by Woolmark. If you want more clarity around fabrics, please sign the pledge!
Why We Need To Filter By Fabric
According to a recent YouGov study, ambiguous fashion terms confuse customers, making it difficult to identify the fibres in the fabric, especially when synthetic materials are used to mimic natural fibres in clothing. What is a ‘wool-like’ jacket made from? According to one website, it’s actually 100% polyester. That isn’t right.
The Woolmark Company launched the Filter by Fabric initiative to end this confusion, urging all fashion brands, retailers, publishers and content creators to commit to clear, honest product names that accurately communicate fabric composition. I’m happy to support this – I personally want to know what’s in my clothes, and have you all know too!
The campaign calls on fashion brands and retailers to take three steps:
1. STOP: using misleading language like silky, mesh and fleece on product names
2. START: adopting accurate descriptions that cite full fabric composition for all product listings
3. OFFER: a filter to allow shoppers to easily sort by fabric type
It might sound simple, but I’ve found it hard to find even one fashion website offering a fabric filter as standard! By providing more transparency around the fabrics used in our clothing, we can hopefully make better buying decisions, and wear our clothes for longer too. It also caters to personal values, such as only choosing recycled fabrics, or vegan fabrics. It’s a win-win.