How can digital marketing help brands on their sustainable journey?
These days, there are lots of ways to incorporate your eco-friendly journey into your brand’s story, but the challenge is more about “how” to share a company’s sustainable message in an authentic, consistent and honest way that consumers resonate with.
Umming and ahhing as to whether or not you need to think about your social responsibility message?
Big companies are making big moves to keep their customer’s attention, so how does an independent brand have its message heard in such a noisy sustainable world?
It’s all down to brand identity, the collection of all elements that a company creates to portray the right image to its consumer.
The goal of brand identity design is to tell your company’s story in a way that creates brand loyalty, brand awareness, and excitement, which are all vital for your sustainable brand. Brand identity is how you want your current customers and prospective customers to perceive your brand or your product or service. A sustainable brand is one that has successfully integrated environmental, economic, and social issues into its business operations. If you are on the sustainable path as a business, well done! This is the story that will help to build out your brand identity.
You may be at the beginning of your journey as an eco-conscious brand, or perhaps you are gradually adopting sustainable practices. No matter what part of your journey you are at, your customers will be interested in hearing your story, but how you tell it is fundamental.
We spoke to the Founder of the eco-friendly marketplace, Relevé Fashion, Raia Gomez, who explains why sustainable fashion brands are leading consumers in 2021 and what to consider when marketing your label as sustainable.
So, what actually makes fashion sustainable?
Raia: Sustainable fashion is a movement towards more eco-friendly and socially responsible ways of both creating and purchasing clothing. On the brand side, it’s about sourcing environmentally-friendly materials and paying garment workers fair wages. On the consumer side, it’s about being more thoughtful regarding the clothing purchases you make and how you recycle old clothing. Research by McKinsey revealed, “57% of shoppers agreed that they had made significant changes to their lifestyles to lessen their environmental impact.” What’s more, the study found that “64% of shoppers decreased their spending on clothing and footwear during the pandemic.” So it looks like conscious shoppers will keep pushing brands to produce more eco-friendly and responsible clothing in 2021.
One of the biggest culprits in the fashion industry is “fast fashion,” or clothes made cheaply to meet the demands of the hot new styles.
Creating timeless, long-lasting clothing meant to be worn repeatedly is one way a brand can approach sustainability. The best sustainable fashion brands are working to reduce their harmful impact by banning, or at least limiting, hazardous chemicals from being used during the manufacturing process. Certain dyes and finishes, such as wrinkle-resistant, aren’t bad for the person who purchases the clothing, but they can be bad for people who create the garment or even people who live in the area where the clothing is produced.
People this year are even more motivated to support brands that are doing good for people, the planet, and animals. The demand is expected to grow even more, with studies predicting the sustainable fashion market to reach $9.81 billion in 2025 and $15.17 billion in 2030.
Sharing the story behind why and how your brand is sustainable in a short, concise and engaging way is crucial if you want to capture the attention of a new generation.
Why the “About us” page matters. Company Values
Raia: While searching for a new wardrobe, more customers are clicking on the “about us” page and the product page to find out who is behind a brand. Many fast fashion brands put on a mask for sustainable and ethical fashion by greenwashing their way into the press by giving false promises.
To add credibility to what you are doing as a brand, consider the following:
- How can you share a list of proof of actions taken to become more sustainable?
- What does your supply chain look like? How is it transparent?
- What improvements are you making, and how are you going above and beyond in your own journey?
Partnerships help brands make bigger steps towards a brighter future.
Relevé Fashion is proud to be the inaugural retail partner of the Conscious Fashion Campaign, supported by the United Nations Office for Partnerships, and the first retailer awarded the Eco-Age Brandmark for sustainable excellence. They also described their mission as “empowering our customers, so they can purchase with a purpose. We not only support ethical and sustainable brands, but with every purchase, our Advocates contribute 10% to their chosen nonprofit partner, at no added cost”.
Partnerships are also essential for sustainable brands. It helps with reputation, growth, and visibility. When selecting brands, Relevé Fashion gives equal value to ethics and aesthetics.
“For us, being a sustainable brand also means having products that are beautifully designed and well-crafted. However, it isn’t enough to have beautiful, stylish products if there’s no brand transparency. We also choose brands with collections that we would love to wear and products we want to use. It’s one of the things I personally love about my work, especially with my background in styling. It’s both gratifying and exciting to be able to showcase products that don’t only look gorgeous but also represent commitments to environmental, personal, and social well-being”.
Don’t Justify Your Price. Validate It with Storytelling.
Raia: This point may seem off-putting to agree with, but the price sets the tone for sustainable fashion. For a company to research, manufacture, and then promote their clothing while maintaining a solid margin for their company directors usually requires a lot of trimming. Due to this reason, fast fashion brands can get away with selling a £3 top that is made in low-cost conditions where workers are underpaid, and work conditions are poorly maintained. Higher prices, while not always, can mean that the company is re-investing money into their workers, charities, and their production to ensure a sustainable business model. Emphasising how you are giving back and making a positive impact with your business model is exceptionally important and can be translated through copy, graphics or a video.
We finally asked Relevé Fashion why a marketplace is an effective marketing strategy for independent sustainable brands? In which they explained that “there are many ways that brands can be sustainable and that there are also many ways that shoppers can choose sustainably. With this in mind, we enable our Advocates to shop by commitment, according to their values and lifestyle, as well as by brand certification. This recognizes the sustainable and ethical practices of our partner brands and also provides brand transparency. What’s more, our partner brands join our Advocates and us in supporting our nonprofit partners”.
Partnerships and storytelling are key when building your brand in a conscious fashion world, but so is an honest and authentic message. This is when digital strategy can play a big part in your overall brand identity.
Interested in finding out more? Contact us today.