User as Stakeholder refers to the recognition and inclusion of end-users or users as significant stakeholders. In this context, users are not just passive recipients of fashion products but are actively involved in shaping the industry through their preferences, choices, and behaviors.

They play a crucial role in driving demand, influencing trends, and shaping the overall fashion landscape. By considering users as stakeholders, fashion businesses can effectively engage with them, incorporate their preferences and values, and create more customer-centric and sustainable fashion offerings.

The concept of “User as Stakeholder” emphasizes the importance of understanding and responding to the needs, desires, and values of users. It involves engaging with users as active participants in the design and production processes. This approach recognizes that users have a direct impact on the success and sustainability of fashion businesses.

By considering users as stakeholders, fashion brands and industry players can gain valuable insights into user preferences, market trends, and emerging demands. They can involve users in various stages of the fashion value chain, such as product ideation, co-creation, feedback collection, and evaluation. This collaborative approach allows companies to align their offerings with user expectations, improve customer satisfaction, and build long-term relationships.

Furthermore, recognizing users as stakeholders also entails considering their broader social and environmental concerns. It involves taking into account ethical and sustainable considerations in the design and production of fashion products. By involving users in discussions around sustainability, transparency, and responsible consumption, fashion brands can respond to evolving user values and contribute to a more conscious and responsible industry.

Case studies

Threadless

Threadless is an online community-driven design platform that involves users in the design process. Users can submit their designs, vote for their favorites, and purchase the winning designs, making them an integral part of the brand’s product selection.

Burberry

Burberry, a luxury fashion brand, launched the Art of the Trench campaign that invited users to share their photos wearing Burberry trench coats. This user-generated content initiative not only celebrated the brand’s iconic product but also engaged users in the storytelling and promotion of the brand.

Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway is a fashion rental platform that allows users to rent designer clothing and accessories for special occasions. By providing a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to traditional fashion consumption, Rent the Runway empowers users to access high-quality fashion while reducing their environmental impact.

Patagonia

Patagonia is known for its strong commitment to environmental and social responsibility. The brand actively engages with its customers through initiatives like the Worn Wear program, where users can repair and trade in their used Patagonia garments, extending the lifecycle of the products and promoting a more sustainable approach to fashion.

Adidas

Adidas has embraced user involvement through initiatives like Adidas Creators Club, a loyalty program that offers personalized experiences, exclusive access to events, and product co-creation opportunities. By recognizing and rewarding user engagement, Adidas strengthens its relationship with customers and gains valuable insights for product development.

H&M Conscious Collection

H&M launched its Conscious Collection, featuring sustainably sourced and produced garments, in response to growing user demand for more sustainable fashion options. This initiative demonstrates the brand’s recognition of users’ desire for more environmentally friendly choices.

Levi’s

Levi’s engages users through its Levi’s Tailor Shops, where customers can customize and personalize their jeans with various design options such as patches, embroidery, and alterations. This customization approach enables users to create unique products that reflect their individual style.

References

Sun, Lushan, and Li Zhao. “Technology disruptions: Exploring the changing roles of designers, makers, and users in the fashion industry.” International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education 11.3 (2018): 362-374.

Watanabe, Chihiro. “Fashion-Driven Textiles as a Crystal of a New Stream for Stakeholder Capitalism–Amazon’s Endeavor.” Available at SSRN 3630774 (2020).