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Customers want a more sustainable approach

Although consumer spending has had to become more focused in the past 18 months, I feel spring 10 will turn a corner in terms of design and inspire people to buy again.

Recessions are a great opportunity for newness, creativity and colour to shine and I predict we’ll see a surge of talented young designers and small labels bringing excitement to the table. It will then be up to the larger retailers to respond accordingly by offering refreshing product and injecting more creativity to keep their old customers excited and entice new ones.

Another focus for retailers and brands alike for spring 10 will be a need to be more accountable for their working practices and impact on the environment. Consumers are starting to expect this and, personally, finding a more sustainable approach to design is at the top of my agenda. It is a new but not unwelcome challenge for the coming season.

A higher global awareness of such issues has made it increasingly appropriate for companies to invest in more ethical processes and sustainability. Consumers now understand the benefits and the role they themselves can play in protecting our environment and supporting trade in poorer communities, and the impact this has on the future of our planet.

For Puma, I am currently working on a project called Cotton made in Africa, part of the Aid by Trade Foundation, where we use sustainable African-sourced product and the money helps improve living conditions of the African cotton farmers. We are also sponsoring 13 of Africa’s national teams in the African Nations Cup football tournament next year, and that is really inspirational in terms of our designs too.

  • Paul Taylor is senior apparel designer at sportswear brand Puma

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