- Examples of brands producing affordable, eco-friendly and stylish clothing their customers love.
- Stylish, environmentally aware clothing that is also within-reach economically is all the consumer rage.
- Doing good for the environment makes your brand stand out from the competition and earns the attention of your customers.
Attention fashionistas, going green doesn’t have to break the bank. With the growing appeal of consumer environmental awareness, an increasing number of sophisticated brands are beginning to understand the huge market opportunity of approachable, stylish eco-fashion.
They know that consumer demand is only going to expand in the future, which means purpose-driven brands are becoming increasingly lucrative. Smart brands are championing the planet, responding to the changing attitudes of customers, and making a hefty profit along the way.
Champions of Earth
The fashion industry is well aware that they’re a huge contributor to climate change (more so than aviation, which says a lot). That is most likely why Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M, recently announced his dismay at “consumer shaming” when it comes to clothing brands receiving consumer flack for their environmental impact. After all, H&M has driven massive profits in fast fashion despite its damage to the environment. Perhaps, he realizes the jig is up. Still, Mr. Persson is missing a critical opportunity. Whether he knows it or not, consumers want brands to do more than make pledges that take effect 20 years from now. They want brands to take action today, and to support the brands that do so. The point isn’t about the shaming, but rather it drives home the expanding velocity of customer demand. In fact, 86% want brands to take a stand on social issues like the environment, and 76% of young people said they have purchased from a brand to show backing for issues that the brand supports, according to a recent Harvard Business Review. Brands miss these key consumer statistics at their peril.
The good news is there are a few stellar, affordable, eco-clothing brands that are proving you can care for the earth, care for your customers, and care for your bottom line all at the same time. Amour Vert creates high-quality, appealing merchandise made to last that’s stylish enough to feature in vogue (It has been). Its purpose – sustainability – is the cornerstone of everything they do, from planting a tree for every tee shirt purchased, to using sustainable fabrics, to manufacturing in limited quantity to avoid excessive waste. Even its factory is California based to limit its carbon footprint when it comes to shipping. Its approach also ensures safe environments and fair wages for workers. Beyond the obvious benefits to the earth and its workers, Amour Vert realizes what other brands missed: stylish, environmentally aware clothing that is also within-reach economically is all the consumer rage.
More and more consumers want to purchase from brands that reflect their interests. The truth is that the Greta Thunberg climate march showed us what we should have already known. Purpose-driven brand marketing is the way of the future, and the future starts with a healthy planet. Brands that understand this (Patagonia is amongst the finest) are now reaping the benefits of doing good by Mother Earth. It turns out that doing good for the environment makes your brand stand out from the competition and earns the attention of your customers.
Not your parent’s 501’s
When you think of Levi’s you don’t necessarily think eco-friendly. That said, it wisely decided to embrace innovation while taking a stand on the social causes its customers care about. Levi’s took responsibility for the impact it was having on the environment by examining techniques for reducing water in the production of its denim. This effort resulted in Levi’s creating 20 water-saving finishing techniques.
Never one to rest on its denim laurels, Levi’s went greener. It also eliminated harmful chemicals from its supply chain and created alternatives through its Screen Chemistry methodology. It went further still and initiated a program to turn old denim into insulation for homes and buildings to reuse as well as repurpose rather than discard. Levi’s felt there was still more they could do, so it created worker initiatives designed to improve the lives of the people who make its products.
All of this reinforces the point that Levi’s is no longer your parents’ jeans. Millennials love supporting brands with a cause or causes in Levi’s case. Add to this Levi’s novel approach of turning old jeans into new customized jeans tapping into Millennials vintage-interest, desire for uniqueness and eco-consciousness, and you can see why Levi’s leads the pack of purpose-driven brands. They had the courage to revolutionize their business based on what matters to their customers.
Levi’s revitalized, eco-brand has been hugely successful. Revenues have steadily and consistently risen over the last several years. They also created an increased value around their brand which will continue to pay dividends. It isn’t every day that a brand is able to hold the honor of a multi-generationally relevant brand. No doubt, that bodes well for their future.
Amour Vert and Levi’s embraced increasing consumer environmentalism, and it has clearly paid off. They champion the earth, produce affordable, stylish clothing that their customers love. That should make even climate change deniers look twice. Other brands should follow suit because doing good is, in fact, good for business.
Hebets is an expert in the field discussing customer-centric, socially and environmentally conscious and generational marketing as well as the future landscape of marketing. She has been featured in Yahoo Finance, Swaay, Natural Food Merchandiser, eCommerce Times and Cannabis Business Magazine.
To learn more, visit ThinkMediaConsulting.com and connect with Shahla Hebets on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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