Fashion and Crowdfunding

In a new blog post on the CommsWomen platform, Audrey Battaglini, a student at the University of Alabama, College of Communication and Information Sciences, analyses an article on fashion and crowdfunding by Carolina Dalla Chiesa, Alina Pavlova, Mariangela Lavanga and Nadiya Pysana published in Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management by Emerald.  

In the article “When Fashion Meets Crowdfunding: Exploring Sustainable and Innovative Features of Online Campaigns”, the authors argue that crowdfunding is an innovative tool used to bring new fashion items to the market. They aimed to find out if product innovation, lifecycle, and sustainability can be used to predict successful fashion crowdfunding campaigns. In their research, they deemed a campaign was successful if the amount raised was equal to or higher than the amount they originally sought, due to using data from an all-or-nothing funding model, Kickstarter.  

They hypothesized that there would be a positive association between fundraising success using crowdfunding and the lifecycle of the fashion project. Previous literature showed that crowdfunding projects on Kickstarter are usually created in the initial stage of the lifecycle. This was due to firms wanting to pre-finance their production and see how the product would be accepted. They argued that fashion projects would be most successful if they were in their earliest stages rather than late stages. Through research, the authors found that hypothesis to be true.

The authors also hypothesized that crowdfunding is more successful for innovative products. Innovation is harder to define for creative goods such as fashion. Innovation in fashion can mean modifications to existing products or the creation of entirely new goods. The authors found that 26.2% of fashion crowdfunding projects were aimed at innovative products.  Despite not being the most common factor being looked into, it was the factor most commonly linked to successful campaigns.

The third hypothesis of the authors was that there would be a positive association between successful fundraising using crowdfunding and sustainability, whether that be due to environmental sustainability, or social sustainability. Sustainability is an important component of modern fashion due to the increasing awareness from consumers and the growing demand for ethical production practices. The study looked into the impact of the impact of sustainability on successful crowdfunding ventures. Environmental sustainability includes factors such as the use of organic or recycled materials, meanwhile, social sustainability includes factors such as fair trade and fair labor practices. They found environmental sustainability to be more significant in driving crowdfunding success as opposed to social sustainability. The focus on environmental concerns is likely due to more attention being brought to the pressing issues of the environment such as climate change, which is highly linked to the fashion industry. While sustainability has not been the predominant focus in crowdfunding literature, recent studies have begun to highlight its importance.

The fifth hypothesis of the group was that there would be a positive association between successful crowdfunding campaigns and the price of a fashion product. In crowdfunding, the price is displayed through the target goal and rewards tiers, with the average price of reward items representing the price of the campaign.  The market of the fashion industry encompasses low-price scalable items and high-end luxury products. Luxury fashion items serve as status and prestige symbols. Typically, low-price rewards and lower goals lead to success in crowdfunding, however, fashion campaigns often benefit more from higher-priced rewards. This is since in the fashion industry a higher price signals superior quality, exclusivity, and durability. The study revealed that higher-price rewards had a positive impact on the success of the crowdfunding campaign.

The full article can be read using this link.


Dalla Chiesa, C., Pavlova, A., Lavanga, M. and Pysana, N. (2022). When fashion meets crowdfunding: exploring sustainable and innovative features of online campaigns. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *