Millennials Buy Into Values, Not Products

The value in a strong brand mission.

Curated Today investigates the importance of staying true to brand’s values during COVID-19 Discover our interview with Guiditta Spezzapria, Founder of Sustainable E-commerce platform, ATTUALE on why it’s the right time to focus on sustainable fashion in GCC.


Italian for contemporary, ATTUALE is an independent, multi-brand retailer for the modern woman. Our all-female team carefully curates a contemporary selection of women’s products across fashion and beauty. From ready-to-wear clothing to lifestyle essentials, the approach is always considered. At ATTUALE, we remain timeless and conscious, combining quality with accessibility. We believe in the power of long-lasting purchases  to build a wardrobe of investment pieces.

Retail is facing bleak times globally. Buying orders are canceled. Employees are furloughed. Salaries are cut. Businesses are closing. These hits are affecting spender morale and eating away at brands’ bottom lines. During these uncertain periods, brands are allocating a majority of its revenues into sustaining their businesses and paying their employees what they can afford.

Ironically however, consumers – especially Millennials and Gen Z – may look up to brands as inspiration and judge them (consciously and subconsciously) on how they are attempting to contribute to society during COVID-19. According to BoF and McKinsey’s “The State of Fashion 2020” Report, “quarantine of consumption”6 could accelerate some of these consumer shifts, such as a growing antipathy toward waste-producing business models and heightened expectations for purpose-driven, sustainable action.”

Further, The National reminds us that even before the pandemic, “millennials and those even younger, are no longer just buying a product or a service. They are also buying what the business stands for: its values and mission.”

Curated Today asks Founder Giuditta Spezzapria of ethically-conscious e-commerce platform, ATTUALE, on how she sells a Lifestyle, not a product.

1. What does ‘sustainable fashion’ mean to you?

I look at sustainable fashion as a lifestyle, really, one that people should be willing to adhere to. To me, it starts with conscious and mindful decisions at the purchase level, then it grows into corporate social responsibility for businesses.

2. Describe ATTUALE in 1 sentence.

Italian for contemporary, Attuale is an online shopping platform curating a contemporary selection of women’s products, for mindful and long-lasting purchases.

3. As founder, what is your mission in blending “community to wellness, design to fashion history” (as taken from website)?

I aim at connecting with women who have a say, or simply relate to sustainable living. By doing this, I allow different perspectives to come together stimulating curiosity and emotions. I believe a community of people shares ideas, beliefs, values and much more…

4. What is the reason you launched ATTUALE via an e-commerce site over a physical boutique?

In 2020, the internet gives us the opportunity to speak and connect with literally anyone, instantly, reason why Attuale was born online. On the other hand, it is within the physical boutique that connection really happens and i would love to see Attuale speak its heart and soul offline, one day.

5. How do you predict global luxury brands to act ‘sustainable’ in their future designs?

I wish for this to be a movement everybody decides to subscribe to, no matter the position. I believe it is collectively that we will achieve a more sustainable fashion environment, if we decide to remain relevant and contemporary.

"I look at sustainable fashion as a lifestyle, really, one that people should be willing to adhere to."

In the USA, Reformation, another successful sustainable fashion brand, was said to be expanding revenues at 50% annually due to building positive brand rapport around ethically-conscious millennials. Further in order to showcase its sincerity of giving back to its communities during this Pandemic, Reformation produced 5 million masks on top of its daily duties such as paying salaries and fulfilling online orders. While the said actions are admirable, it may not be feasible for smaller brands to action.

Overall, it’s evident that embracing values and showcasing them in ethical and genuine ways, reinforces the brand leadership and earns loyalty. However, acting responsibly via different mediums comes at a cost, leaving ethical brands with an ethical dilemma (pun intended): do brands continue to prioritize retail responsibility during COVID-19, a time where cost-cutting and saving are crucial for survival?

With limited staff, warehouses and resources, brands can still use this time to furnish creative yet nimble initiatives online that highlight their DNAs and what they each stand for as an entity. Consider creating educational or inspirational videos that completely stray away from promotional or product pushes. In fact, consumers may strictly be looking to brands for a dose of positive inspiration during this volatile period instead.