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Fahed Ghanim, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle Image Credit: Supplied

Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle, a prominent leader in lifestyle retail across the GCC, recently held an exclusive breakfast event at THAT Concept Store to unveil insights from their latest survey, indicating a significant shift in consumer behavior. According to the survey conducted through The Happiness Lab, Majid Al Futtaim's online market research community, over 50% of UAE shoppers are now willing to pay a premium for sustainable products.

Under the theme 'Why Sustainable Fashion Matters,' the event featured a panel session exploring the critical intersection of fashion, sustainability, and climate action. The panel included Fahed Ghanim, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle, alongside representatives from Salad, KGK Diamonds & Jewellery, and Istituto Marangoni, engaging in a meaningful discussion moderated by author and journalist Sujata Assomull. The occasion also marked Majid Al Futtaim Group's associate partnership with COP28.

The Kurator spoke to CEO Fahed Ghanim about how Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle is leading the way in retail in the UAE. "At Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle, we recognize that listening to our customers is paramount to the success and growth of our business," he shared. "The recent insights reveal a resounding willingness among our valued customers to prioritize sustainably focused brands and pay a premium for sustainable products."

Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle sees itself as more than just a retailer; it positions itself as a curator of experiences and an advocate for informed choices. Ghanim emphasized, "We have the ability to guide customers towards sustainable and conscious consumption."

The survey brought to light that 53% of female shoppers and 51% of male shoppers in the UAE are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products. Additionally, 71% expressed a willingness to change shopping habits to support lifestyle retail brands aligned with sustainability values. The sustainability practices of a brand were recognized as a significant influence on purchasing decisions by 55% of respondents.

The panel session featured industry experts, including Farah Hourani, Creative Director of Salad, a winner of the 2023 Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad Accelerator Programme. Hourani highlighted the financial and environmental impact of sustainable production and consumption, emphasizing that consumers are willing to pay premiums for items with identity and a positive impact.

To promote consciously crafted fashion, THAT Concept Store introduced a 'Sustainably Focused Edit' featuring over 50 brands that encourage conscious consumption. During COP28, shoppers had the opportunity to enjoy a 15% discount both online and in-store on this exclusive edit.

Ghanim aims to demonstrate that sustainability is not just about creating a positive global impact but is also a pathway for growth, unlocking opportunities for cost efficiencies and innovation. He sees sustainability as an opportunity for collaborative action with partners to accelerate progress towards a more sustainable future.

Acknowledging the challenge of making sustainability a compelling choice for consumers, where appeal lies not only in ethical considerations but also in aesthetics, functionality, and overall experience. Ghanim stated, "Our goal as Majid Al Futaim Lifestyle is always to not only meet but exceed changing consumer expectations."

"In the realm of sustainable fashion, it's not only about embracing responsible practices but ensuring that sustainability is seamlessly integrated into the fabric of our offerings," Ghanim added. "Listening to consumers has been instrumental in recognizing that sustainability, for them, is not just a virtue; it's an expectation. Therefore, we are not merely striving for sustainability; we are striving for sustainability that is scalable, attractive, and resonates with the desires of our consumers."