September entertains new creativities. The calendar month documents design directions taking shape and prompts intellectual attention and commentary as to how to use this to move forward in the world. Through the flurry and flux in the four fashion capitals, this sentiment could be no truer.
On an indulgent level, fashion holds a personal sweet spot. Clothes are wonderful – yes. But it is the conceptual commentaries that fashion invite us to partake in that warms my heart much more. Fashion inherently invites activism, debate and social change. On the streets of London, simultaneously with September shows, ‘shop dropping’ was born. Let me explain.
Described as ‘gentle activists’, a group entitled Craftivist Collective took to fashion stores neighbouring LFW’s headquarters Somerset House. Their mission? – To place handcrafted notes of protest amongst the pockets of clothes retailing on the shop floor. This is the act of shop dropping per se.
As consequence, consumers purchasing said items will find these notes of gentle protest.The term shop dropping plays on the term shoplifting. However the action consists of adding instead of taking away.
Consumer activists are everywhere. Zero-waste retail concepts are bourgeoning. The number of people committed to veganism has increased by 600% in the US and in the last year UK plant-based food sales have skyrocketed by 1500%. Our research trip to Paris showcased brands such as Weekday and Citadium courting the politically informed consumer through slogan T-shirts and theatrical tactics.
Over in our post about nurturing kind and conscious brands, we chat with Plum Turner, Co-Founder of BoobyShoes about how activist power resonates with consumer purchase. Consumers are growing increasingly thoughtful when it comes to their spending. They are engaged and empowered to make a change. Their wallet is their mandate for activism and they are socially savvy with their spending.
Next month, the ethical consumer conference will take to Shoreditch to explore this consumer landscape. To resonate with this influential group, it essentially comes down to shared values. However, in an era of mistrust, consumers are affronted by brands behaving disingenuously. Missions for change need to be authentic. Sheridan&Co has been tracking consumer activists within our strategy offering. Get in touch to find out how we can empower you to connect to this group.