Two brands taking an unexpected approach to sustainability
There is a massive danger of failing to deliver on a promise when a brand declares it has a sustainable footprint. Yet two stories Loyalty Magazine has come across recently show that when caring for the environment comes across with passion rather than lip-service, it can hugely boost reputation. It also shows the benefit of a gentle start.
Primark has just announced its first ‘wellness’ range which it is introducing in a pop-up in Shoreditch, London.
Now Primark is not known for its sustainability and care for the environment. This is the shop where t-shirts and leggings are so cheap they are disposable, where it is difficult to understand how any of the partners in the supply chain can make any money and where the image of sweatshops is difficult to remove from one’s mind. It has also been fairly now down in terms of eco-credentials – until now.
Welcome to the new Primark!
To quote from the blurb: “The Wellness collection has been launched under the Primark Cares initiative, their commitment to being a responsible retailer and offering more products made using more environmentally friendly materials to customers. All the products in the collection are made using either organic cotton, recycled materials, or sustainable materials, or encourage shoppers to put their personal wellbeing first through comfort, rest, and reflection.
The design of the fit-out reflects the guiding principles of the Wellness collection and uses FSC certified wooden fixtures and cardboard hangers, as well as recyclable display panels.”
The range includes womenswear, menswear, homewear and skincare, and Primark would very much like you to know that it’s all terribly ethical:
It is all terrible tasteful and well – calm, restful and reflective.
The range goes mainstream at the end of March, then we will see if it works with its target audience.
Gardening with Timberland
The second smile inducing initiative is that from Timberland – the upmarket outdoor shoes and clothing brand.
It is taking a different approach to the whole eco thing, by offering workshops to teach its London city customers how to be more sustainable by growing stuff.
Classes so far have included the whole range of survival techniques without using resources, including how to grow food from leftovers, (have you ever grown a new plant from a cutting? It is terribly satisfying) through to tips on growing herbs in small places, reducing plastic use and saving seed. All aimed at Londoners, who will be encouraged to green up the spaces around them. There is even a crash course on composting.
In this way, Timberland is dipping its toe into the sustainable water, without announcing anything major, such as being carbon neutral or saving the planet.
To be fair to Timberland, it is also using recycled plastic land rubber in its Earthkeeprs boot – which the brand claims is the most environmentally responsible boot it has ever made, including using less harmful ways to tan the leather. In 2019 it claims that all products were made with an element of recycled, organic or renewable materials. 75% of its cotton used in clothing is sustainably sourced and it will recycle shoes. It has also committed to planting 50 million trees around the planet. Still not convinced? Well it aims to reduce waste and has a goal to aim for a 95% waste diversion rate in 2020, with the ultimate goal of generating zero waste.
At the end of the day, most brands are trying to sell something. The challenge for everyone is how to continue to do that without causing damage. We look forward to sharing more initiatives.
And don’t forget the new category of Best Eco-Loyalty Initiative in the Loyalty Magazine Awards 2020. Entries close on February 28 so there is still time to enter. More information can be found at www.theloyaltymagazineawards.com