A recent study indicated that brands can expect consumers’ shopping habits to be “permanently altered” as a result of the pandemic, with 45% of survey respondents stating they are proactively seeking “more sustainable choices” when shopping.
“Consumers are very much becoming conscious consumers. They’re motivated to be more environmentally conscious, exercising the power of their voice. They want to make sure the companies they do business with are trying to improve the community, the environment or the healthcare system,” said CMO of Grove Collaborative, Lilian Tomovich.
Whether it’s through the launch of an eco-friendly product or a charitable partnership, major brands are displaying corporate social responsibility (CSR) by aligning with environmental causes in order to establish consumer trust amidst a time of great uncertainty.
Chipotle Saves The Avocado Pits For ‘Chipotle Goods’ Clothing Line
Chipotle took a break from its traditional fast casual restaurant duties to launch “Chipotle Goods,” an eco-friendly clothing line featuring attire that has been dyed from upcycled avocado pits pulled from Chipotle restaurants. Available on the brands new ChipotleGoods.com site, the line includes a variety of options – from branded jackets to blankets – with all proceeds donated to “support companies focused on improving sustainability in fashion and/or farming.” Additionally, following the initial Chipotle Goods launch, the restaurant chain opened a pop-up shop, hosted by a number of social media influencers, where customized clothing items were introduced in an effort to spread the word to an even larger audience.
“A long standing advocate for social responsibility, Chipotle has supported organic cotton farmers through uniform purchases since 2012, making it one of the largest buyers of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) cotton in the U.S.,” the company shared in a press release. “Chipotle is also one of the largest restaurant purchasers of avocados in the world and is now blending these two ingredients to create a fashionable line of goods.”
Through the creation of Chipotle Goods, the brand is further promoting its efforts to create meaningful change in the world while offering Chipotle lovers high-quality products - beyond the classic burrito - that support a good cause.
Subaru Brings Awareness To California Wildfires
Through its ongoing “Subaru Loves the Earth” initiative, Subaru’s latest ad brings awareness to the destructive California wildfires and spotlights the partnership between Subaru and the National Forest Foundation (NFF). The ad shows a photojournalist driving alongside the live fires (in his Subaru) to capture terrifying scenes, opening viewers’ eyes to just how serious these ongoing wildfires have been, and continue to be.
By avoiding too many images of Subaru vehicles throughout the video, or voiceover discussing the car brand itself in great detail, Subaru is showing its commitment to bringing real awareness and taking real steps to help restore the damaged forests. This ad spot and overall cause marketing approach has the ability to resonate on a much deeper level with consumers, thanks to the brand's clear authenticity. Calling itself “more than a car company,” Subaru, in partnership with the NFF, will spend the next four years replanting 500,000 trees that were destroyed by the wildfires.
PUMA Transforms Waste Into Fashion With New Sustainable Collection
Earlier this year, PUMA teamed up with First Mile, a waste management and recycling company that, according to PUMA, “strengthens micro-economies in Taiwan, Honduras and Haiti by collecting plastic bottles to create sustainable jobs and reduce pollution.” Through the partnership, PUMA launched a new athletic footwear and clothing line made almost entirely from sustainable materials. Essentially, the collected waste gathered by First Mile is turned into recycled yarn and transformed, by PUMA, into the complete, eco-friendly PUMA x FIRST MILE collection.
“Even though one of the key benefits of this partnership is social impact, the PUMA and First Mile program has diverted over 40 tonnes of plastic waste from landfills and oceans, just for the products made for 2020. This roughly translates into 1,980,286 plastic bottles being reused,” said Stefan Seidel, Head of Corporate Sustainability for PUMA. Adding, “All the apparel is made of at least 83% to even 100% from the more sustainable yarn sourced from First Mile.”
During a time of crisis, like the one we are facing today, many consumers place larger spotlights on the actions of brands and seek out brands that demonstrate purpose-driven marketing and authentic messaging. Marketers who respond to responsibility-focused consumer expectations, leveraging environmentally conscious products and partnerships and displaying sincerity, can create connections with consumers that encourage immediate sales and long-term loyalty.
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