Style manufacturers ought to interact “extra proactively” with social media customers round sustainability and ethics, after College of Liverpool evaluation recommended their present strategy could also be “counterproductive.”
Dr. Katia Balabanova and her staff on the College’s Division of Communication and Media delved into the tweets posted as much as July 2019 in two explicit case research, so as to discover how ethics and sustainability are mentioned on-line .
The primary case examine evaluated common tweets posted with the hashtags #fastfashion, #ethicalfashion, #sustainablefashion and #slowfashion; whereas the second thought of a advertising and marketing marketing campaign launched by main vogue retailer ASOS, round its hashtag #ThanksItsAsos.
They discovered that corporations may benefit from transferring from a top-down “steering and training” strategy to 1 that’s “extra considerate, open and deliberative”, notably when searching for to exhibit authenticity round sustainability and ethics.
Dr Balabanova, Political Communication Reader, stated: “A contemporary combined technique for social media ought to embody avenues for listening and interesting in dialogue with the viewers.
“Twitter is presumably the place the place probably the most politically engaged and finest knowledgeable audiences are prepared to have interaction in a dialogue on ethics and sustainability; an strategy that avoids this and / or tries to information and educate somewhat than hear might be counterproductive. “
Relatively than utilizing combination statistics and sentiment evaluation, the analysis staff used a qualitative strategy to drill down into all of the tweets posted across the two case research, breaking them down into key themes, positions, functions, and arguments to find out how. customers obtained concerned within the debate round sustainability and ethics in vogue.
They discovered that the highest two ethics and sustainability points raised by social media customers have been environmental issues, within the first case examine; and dealing circumstances within the provide chain, within the second. The evaluation revealed that solely a small proportion of the tweets have been explicitly important and that people who have been have been really sparking a “comparatively subtle debate” wherein vogue manufacturers can profit from significant engagement.
Within the second case examine, researchers recognized a number of tweets about labor exploitation that ASOS has confirmed are inaccurate and that might have been refuted, however weren’t as a result of firm’s present focus.
Dr Balabanova stated: “There’s a threat that by selecting to not take part straight on Twitter round ethics and sustainability, ASOS is shedding credibility on these points.
“The silence might be equated with guilt within the minds of Twitter customers, and the hazard is that, regardless of its credentials, ASOS companions with different much less moral and sustainable vogue corporations.”
The report discovered that when corporations dedicated to a sustainable vogue hashtag within the analyzed time interval, nearly all of their marketing-oriented posts centered on shopping for extra merchandise.
On this approach, sustainability merely turns into one other “case for product desirability,” somewhat than selling vital reuse and donation efforts, for instance, or to spotlight areas of excellent company observe.
Dr Balabanova added: “The outcomes present vibrant and diverse debate on ethics and sustainability is happening on Twitter, and a big proportion of this exercise consists of real makes an attempt to generate discussions and share data and information.
“There’s a robust case for ASOS and different vogue manufacturers to change into extra proactively engaged about ethics and sustainability on Twitter, responding to information occasions and utilizing a extra dynamic and even imaginative left subject strategy to exhibit authenticity and model identification “.
The analysis staff, which included Dr. Rudi Palmieri and Dr. Zixiu Liu, analyzed a complete of 13,178 tweets for the primary case examine and eight,675 tweets for the second case examine, all revealed in July 2019. This evaluation of the Twitter archive information was accompanied by an evaluation. from firm statements and interviews with ASOS’s social media, company communications and acquisitions groups.
ASOS was recognized as one of many UK’s most engaged retailers on sustainability points and labor market initiatives within the Interim Report on the Sustainability of the Style Trade, produced by the Home of Commons Environmental Audit Committee in 2019.