It’s 2021, and awareness of the consequences of our actions on the health of the planet are elevating to fever pitch- you only have to look as far as Netflix’s latest documentary, Seaspiracy, to understand how bad things are really getting. The time for sustainability is now- it’s more current than ever, and consumer priorities are changing to reflect this.
We’re seeing trends that show consumers making big changes to their buying habits, with a tectonic shift towards conscious consumerism as a result of the pandemic. This is manifesting by holding brands to higher standards and greater responsibility for their actions (and even- their non-actions).
With 74% of consumers now expecting brands to take a stand on important, relevant contemporary issues, highlighting & delivering on your brand’s core values has become fundamental to customers. Consumers are actively looking for their favourite brands to make better choices; they want to see authentic examples of brands aligning their core values with a worthy cause, or putting the greater good before the easy option.
This focus on making morally, ethically advantageous choices is here for the long term. Transparency is key to building trust and demonstrating that your brand’s mission is making a positive impact rather than one solely focused on making money.
With almost half of consumers (47%) walking away from brands who do not deliver on their promise or do not take a stand on social issues – showcasing your brand’s values and working with partners who embody these values should be at the heart of your campaign. We are seeing now that companies that don’t step up pay the price down the line.
So who is stepping up to the plate and challenging the old norms, to cover ground towards the better world we’d all like to live in? Let’s take a look at a few brands who are killing it in the realm of sustainability- and giving us that sustainability inspo.
Every year, a third of all food grown globally is wasted. We grow food that we throw away, only to grow it again. This cycle requires resources. A lot of them. Water, energy, land, time. All of which are wasted when food isn’t eaten.
If we only grew what we needed, we would dramatically reduce our impact on the environment. The 66 trillion gallons of water that go towards producing food that is never eaten would be saved. The 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions caused by food waste would be prevented.
According to the Drawdown Project, fighting food waste is the number one solution to reverse the climate crisis and stop the planet from getting 2°C warmer by the year 2100. Each week, we come together on a mission to do this. Our methodology exists to show you how you’re helping save the planet every time you pick up your box from your doorstep.
OddBox are fighting waste by giving you the chance to buy wonky vegetables. That’s the business model; and it’s working. By sidestepping the aesthetic needs of large supermarket chains and simply selling the produce that is grown, be it big, small, “correctly” shaped or otherwise- OddBox are doing their bit to undo the narrative around acceptable food- and acceptable food wasting.
From supporting youth fighting against oil drilling to suing the president, we take action on the most pressing environmental issues facing our world. Connect with environmental groups through Patagonia Action Works and take action to protect people and the planet.
Active clothing brand Patagonia are making our hearts race with the possibilities of their work in the realms of sustainability and activism. Giving their brand values pride of place on their website, they even place a “used gear” section as the first available shopping option on the site in a bid to encourage consumers to be more conscious of their buying habits, and extend the lifetimes of secondhand clothing in wearable condition.
Plastic is everywhere for many reasons. It’s a strong, durable, lightweight, and versatile – yet low cost – material. But when plastic is not disposed of responsibly, the environmental implications become concerning.
IKEA is committed to making a positive impact on people and the planet. Our ambition is that by 2030, all plastic used in our products will be based on renewable or recycled material.
We’ve already started our journey towards this goal with a plan to replace single-use plastic in our range and by using different kinds of sustainable plastic in an increasing number of products.
Once upon a time, IKEA rocked our worlds by unveiling their “Last Straw” artpiece, dedicated to their commitment to ruling our single-use plastics in their UK & Irish stores by 2020. But this ambition has continued to grow, and now they’re adapting their product lines to contain only renewable or recycled sources of plastic by 2030. We love to see it!
Things aren’t being shared evenly in the chocolate supply chain. The chain starts with millions of farmers who produce cocoa and ends with the billions of consumers who enjoy chocolate. But what about the bit in between? This section is dominated by a handful of chocolate giants that profit from keeping the cocoa purchasing price as low as possible. As a result, farmers are forced to live in poverty.. leading to child labor and slavery.
Tony’s Chocolonely has designed their entire product around creating better sustainability, equity and equality in the chocolate industry- the “uneven” division of their bar is a literal metaphor for the inequality of the trade- and it will stay that way until the chocolate business is 100% slavery free. They’ve been working on it since 2003- but now could be the perfect time to see this brand taking to the forefront with the sustainability movement.
“Why waste a container when you can refill it? And why buy more of something than you can use? We behaved as my mother did in the Second World War, we reused everything, we refilled everything, and we recycled all we could (…) The foundation of The Body Shop’s environmental activism was born out of ideas like these” – Anita Roddick, Body & Soul
The Body Shop have started a refill scheme aiming to “clean up [their] act to clean up the planet” and are rolling out their refill scheme to 400 stores this year; and another 400 stores next year. They’re hoping to make refilling the easy choice- and thereby, save the planet from up to 25 tonnes of plastic per year. Now there’s a figure that (re)fills our hearts with hope.
For more ongoing trends and insights, check out Verve’s new podcast: The Virtual Events Podcast. Our team chat about all things virtual. Each episode has tips, hints, what’s new, what works best, hope you enjoy it.
The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts : https://audioboom.com/channels/5045240
Our weekly blog on the world of
brand experience, tech, events, advertising and marketing.