Spending Savvy Consumers Demand Quality on the High Street

By Cotton Usa, PRNE
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Throwaway Fashion is Dead as Consumers Opt for Quality, Not Quantity

LONDON, March 30, 2011 - As 2011 sees UK retailers grapple with dropping sales and the soaring
price of commodities, High Street consumers are increasingly looking for
value for money. According to new research released today from Cotton Council
International (CCI) in association with Drapers magazine, 90% of UK shoppers
say value for money is crucial.

With the recession continuing, over half of consumers say they are
spending the same or less on clothing than they did last year. Quality, not
quantity is important when choosing purchases, with three-quarters of
consumers looking for better quality items and clothes they know will last.
This has become particularly prevalent amongst people on incomes of
GBP20,000pa or less.

When summing up what quality means to the consumer, three quarters of the
UK public cited the look and feel of clothing fabric as the most important
indicator of quality, followed by 57% who equate quality with fabric
durability. Only three in ten people think cost signifies better quality.

Stephanie Thiers-Ratcliffe, International Marketing Manager, Cotton
Council International, comments:

"Our research suggests that shoppers are thinking harder about
their clothing purchases. As consumers' shopping habits evolve, retailers
will benefit from stocking more quality-led items that offer value for money,
particularly in terms of fabric quality and longevity."

Today's fashion conscious consumers want clothes that are
going to last (50%) rather than slavishly following trends (10%) and nine out
of ten shoppers think cotton represents good value for money when it comes to
choice of clothing fabric. Over half of consumers say that the quality of
cotton fabric, as well as its durability, comfort, look and feel, encourages
them to buy cotton items.

One in four UK shoppers expect retailers and brands to be more
transparent about where fabric that makes up their clothes originates from,
with only 20% of those surveyed saying it was not a consideration when buying

Steph Thiers-Ratcliffe concludes: "As incomes get tight,
consumers are examining how much they actually need to buy. Rising inflation
and prices mean shoppers will seek out more quality from their spend. Our
COTTON USA 'Naturally' Mark is a symbol of purity, strength, comfort and
quality and helps shoppers to identify premium cotton items that are made to

    For further information please contact:

    Paula Figgett: +44(0)20-3176-4700
    Email: COTTONUSA@kaizo.net

Paula Figgett: +44(0)20-3176-4700, Email: COTTONUSA at kaizo.net

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