How the pandemic really affected the mindset of global consumers – Sourcing Journal


After more than a year and a half of dealing with Covid-19 and the upheavals that have surrounded it, new survey shows consumers around the world are feeling a range of emotions – some of them perhaps surprising – about everything from their financial situation, the future of shopping to sustainability and the environment. Research also shows that opportunities exist for manufacturers and retailers who take the time to discern what buyers really want and need right now.

Globally, many consumers say they have been significantly affected by the pandemic, resulting in reduced income (40%) and reduced spending on clothing (55%), according to the Cotton Council International & Cotton Incorporated’s 2021 Global Lifestyle monitorMT Investigation. Yet most (58%) are very / somewhat optimistic about their financial future. In addition, those under 35 are significantly more optimistic than their older counterparts (62% vs. 55%).

Almost 4 in 5 consumers (78%) say they still like / a bit like buying clothes, and in the future almost all (97%) expect to buy clothes in the year to come, according to the 2021 Global Lifestyle monitorMT Investigation. Almost half of all consumers (48%) plan to buy at least 50% or more of their clothes online in the future. But consumers are also eager to shop in physical places such as department stores (61%), supermarkets / hypermarkets (57%), chain stores (56%), discounters (55%), specialty stores (52%), independent shops. , sporting goods stores and street markets (all 51 percent) and outlet stores (42 percent), according to the survey. However, buyers should keep in mind: most (68%) expect to buy less than usual.

When it comes to what they plan to buy, 83% of shoppers say they expect to buy more comfortable clothes, according to the 2021 Global Lifestyle monitorMT Investigation. It is therefore logical that when deciding whether or not to buy a garment, comfort (87%) is ranked as the first purchasing factor. Next come fit (84%), overall quality (83%), durability (79%), finish and price (both 71%), style (70%), performance characteristics (68 %), respect for the environment (60%), brand name (39 percent) and country of manufacture (35 percent), according to the survey.

Manufacturers in the industry should note that 76% of consumers worldwide say they will pay more for better clothes, according to the 2021 Global Lifestyle monitorMT Investigation. And nearly three-quarters (71%) say they will pay more for eco-friendly clothing.

In line with their desire for comfortable and environmentally friendly clothing, most consumers (60%) say they would pay more for cotton clothing than synthetic clothing (11%), according to the 2021 Global Lifestyle monitorMT Investigation. In addition, more than 4 in 5 consumers worldwide (82%) say they would prefer the clothes they wear the most to be made of cotton.

Around the world, the majority of buyers agree that compared to clothing made from synthetic fibers, cotton clothing is the most comfortable (77%), the most durable (71%) and the most durable (58% ), according to the 2021 Global. Lifestyle monitorMT Investigation.

Over the past year, sustainability has grown in importance among consumers. The 2021 World Cup Lifestyle monitorMT A survey found that 80% of consumers believe that environmental change and resource depletion “is very real and requires changes in our behavior.” Concerns about sustainability and the environment have increased among more than half of all global consumers (56%), while 35% have remained at the same or the same level of concern. When it comes to environmentally friendly fibers, consumers rank cotton first (71%), followed by wool (65%) and hemp (59%). Synthetic fibers like rayon (45 percent) and polyester (33 percent) rank last, according to the survey.

A study based on Global 2021 Lifestyle monitorMT The survey offers recommendations for the industry as the world continues to live and adapt to Covid-19 and its consequences. Among them, manufacturers and retailers are urged to watch out for the long-term implications of the pandemic and the economy. And they are encouraged to closely monitor attitudes and behaviors with the goal of guiding product line, pricing, channel priorities, communications, and customer experience.

The 2021 World Cup Lifestyle monitorMT The report also points out that as consumers return to their usual clothing purchases, they will be more selective and intentional in their decisions. With this, retailers are advised to avoid compromising long term success by lowering prices for the purpose of increasing short term sales. This, according to the study, can damage the perception of the product in the longer term.

As for the response to the ‘next normal’ in buyer behavior, the report says retailers and brands need to make sure online experiences are as smooth as possible, as the shift to e-commerce is likely to continue. . However, the 2021 World Cup Lifestyle monitorMT Research suggests stores continue to optimize the physical experience, as it is still dominant in most markets.

It is also recommended that the industry urgently and immediately develop a strategy to address sustainability and the environment, concerns that have increased among global consumers over the past year. The 2021 World Cup Lifestyle monitorMT The study points out that while consumers around the world are ready to take personal responsibility for preventing climate change, they expect their own governments and businesses to do so too. To this end, it is suggested that the industry works in cooperation with its competitors to share learning and implement best practices. In addition, fashion as a whole should discourage the production of “fast fashion”.

Finally, the 2021 World Cup Lifestyle monitorMT The study recommends that, for the benefit of consumers, the industry should provide information on what constitutes environmentally friendly clothing and create a symbol that signifies adherence to specific sustainability guidelines. Additionally, brands are encouraged to support influencers who can persuade their followers to make eco-friendly choices. And, for all skeptics, it should be clarified that environmentally friendly clothing does not have a negative impact on comfort, quality and durability.

Cotton Incorporated is a global resource for all things cotton. The research and promotion organization continues its nearly 50-year commitment to providing expertise and information on all aspects of the global cotton supply chain: from dirt to shirts and beyond. Additional relevant information can be found at

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