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What makes a sustainable brand now? The term has acquired such a broad context – it can refer to the use of naturally sourced ingredients, biodegradable fabrics, recycled materials, transparent supply chain, second-hand/vintage pieces… It can be a few or all of those things together. On the other hand, we know that the best sustainable practice is to consume as less as possible, which is a total paradox business wise.
So, is there a way to mind your environmental impact and not just follow the trend for marketing sake? Yes, as long as you are honest with the brand values and live by the standards you are communicating. Using organic fabrics or ingredients? Great, make sure that your packaging is also made from natural or recyclable materials. Promoting a transparent supply chain? Pay competitive wages to employees and don’t try to get services like styling, copywriting or web design for free just because you are a startup or a small company.
Most importantly: don’t try to fool consumers. The damage can be really serious. If you can’t guarantee what you are promising, don’t do it. It’s better to state your intentions to be environmental friendly and grow your brand towards it in the long run than make a void statement and be called off. Your credibility will be lost and customers will disappear.
Remember: meaningful brands are honest brands. They stick to their values and live by them. If sustainability is among yours, make sure to employ it from the first scratch of a product or service. Always.