Slow Fashion and how it is beeing communicated-the role of storytelling in engaging consumers in slow fashion
Sammanfattning: Background: The fashion industry today is one of constant and unceasing change. It is a segment of materialism, characterised by fast-paced and outsourced production, cost pressed profit structures, and never ending designs and trends. This framework together with modern day marketing communications that unremittingly stimulate new consumer wants have created a landscape of overconsumption. As a reaction to this hysteria of consumerism is the emergence of a relatively new notion, slow fashion. This ideology places emphasis on decelerating both production and consumption cycles through more conscious purchasing patterns. Previous studies confirm that although consumers are accepting of the slow fashion mind-set, their interest does not necessarily equate to engagement in terms of conscious consumption. Consequently, companies today are seeking alternative modes of communication such as storytelling. Purpose: The objective of this paper is; thus, to investigate how slow fashion is being communicated through storytelling, in better understanding how to engage consumers in more conscious and responsible fashion consumption. Method: The study uses a qualitative method of research with a deductive approach. The research design entails multiple case studies of semi-structured interviews conducted among four slow fashion companies in Sweden. Theoretical data has been collected primarily through peer reviewed literature and other written works in electronic form. The theoretical starting point of the paper begins with concepts such as slow fashion as an ideology and its values, goals and objectives. Thereafter, storytelling, engagement and meaning are each theoretically explained and empirically investigated. Conclusion: The study reveals that slow fashion retailers are using storytelling but to varying degrees in communicating the slow fashion ideology. There is a focus on engaging consumers through education, interaction and activating several human senses. It can be seen that consumers are engaged and interested in the slow fashion mind-set; however, it cannot be confirmed that they are actually behaving or acting as slow fashionists.
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