According to the „Global Lifestyle Monitor 2016” survey by Cotton USA, the average German likes his/her clothing comfy, sustainable and preferably made from cotton. The international survey carried out each one or two years investigates the changes in customers’ buying behaviors when it comes to fashion and clothing.

The majority of German customers, 68%, are alright with paying a higher price for a higher quality. For that, 78% prefer to buy offline, so they can check the fabrics and try on the garment. 

Nevertheless, the internet has become an important source of inspiration, as 34% of the respondents find creative impulses for their looks online.  Two out of three customers trust the websites of brands and retailers to provide them with the latest trends. Moreover, POS-display styles and the looks of peer group members influence the consumer’s taste in fashion (each 33%) and almost half of the survey participants are led by their own fashion sense (45%).

Also, the internet is used as an initial tool to check on the latest fashion: 54% of the participants use it as a research platform, 39% for comparing prices. One third of the German customers however still fully rejects buying online as they believe it is unsafe for their user data. Vague shipping costs and non-discernable qualities were also named as obstacles.

When it comes to buying fashion, comfort -including quality and proper fit- is the most important buying criteria for the average German customer (96%).

In terms of sustainability, two thirds of the German consumers expect the producers to take responsibility and would hold it against the brand, if not. Even if more than half of the survey participants think of sustainability as an important topic, less than one third of them actively searches for it.

With 78%, cotton remains the most popular natural fiber due to its good reputation in functionality and sustainability. Most respondents also rate the fabric as authentic, trustworthy and – most importantly – comfortable.