3 ways to make your brand more sustainable

100% biodynamic, sustainably sourced, chemical free cotton? It seems like our carrots are not the only thing we are told to buy in organic form now.

Let’s be honest, our planet really isn’t what it used to be – we should probably all do our bit to keep mother nature feelin’ fine.

From fashion to interiors, many brands are looking to jump on board the sustainability train, but where to begin? There’s so many  directions (and misdirections) in this tricky field, so we’ve come to the rescue sharing some innovative ways to make your brand more green.

PREPARE TO MEET YOUR MAKER

Sustainability isn’t just about saving the planet – it’s also about sustaining those who make the products we sell.  Ethical manufacture has become a heated topic in recent years as customers are wanting more transparency around the where, the how and the who of the products they’re buying (Check out the Who made my clothes? movement)

This means brands need to consider their social model in the same way they consider their pricing model. What many brands don’t realise is that choosing more ethical manufacturing methods is a great way to harnessing a larger, more conscious audience. With all the bad press associated with cheap manufacturing & poor working conditions, consumers are demanding their products without the guilt, and quite rightly so!

Need help seeking ethical manufacturers? Ethical Clothing Australia has a database of ethically accredited makers both here and overseas just waiting for your call.

Don’t forget, shipping goods leaves considerable carbon footprint too, so it’s always worth considering making locally where possible. Small brands are some of the front-runners in this movement, so be sure to have a look at what they’re getting up to – The Australian Made website is a great index.

LEAVE LITTLE TRACE

Polyester move aside. Your brand’s environmental footprint is probably a bigger issue than you think.

Simply mixing up your choice of materials and considering more earth friendly options is a great way to start. So many brands are finding new and innovative ways to source and recycle materials, without the big price tag.

The surge of sustainable materials in the fashion industry is by far the best example. Recycled plastics and glass bottles have graced catwalks all over the world for years now, making sustainable trés chic.

Being sustainable means that your brand could even weave eco warrior materials into it’s sole philosophy. For instance, hemp, recycled nylons and wools and even organic cotton have become the standard for some big global brands such as Patagonia (see their full materials list here for some inspiration).

It’s no doubt that striking balance between image and model may ultimately change the way in which your consumers view you.. for the better!

GOOD KARMA

There’s plenty of imaginative ways your brand can pay it forward.  Consider ways of offering a helping hand to groups that align with your core values. For example, creating a special product range dedicate to something you care about means you can donate a percentage whilst generating an awareness. However – remember to keep it all relative… selling bracelets to raise funds for save the trees has no clear corresponding message.

Get everyone to join in! Customers, suppliers, staff, media and all! Come up with creative ways such as running design competitions for products and give contributions from the sales.

Remember that being philanthropic is not just about giving away money for nothing. Remember: Doing good for humankind should not feel insincere or a strategy to just gain some media coverage. Plan what you want to do and discover how it can be used to better the planet.

 


Image credit: ‘Concrete Nature’ by Camille Boyer & Jack Johnstone