The (sustainable) future is now.

19 February 2021

We know that sustainability is crucial to our future – who doesn’t? A recent study found that being environmentally friendly is important to 84% of Brits[1]. Yet the awareness of conscious brands is still relatively low in comparison. Responding to and taking on the challenge not only requires a lot of thought and investment from companies, but a considered communication strategy.

According to Mintel, 46% agree that climate change will influence the food and drink they buy[2] making it imperative for brands to demonstrate they’re actively reviewing and reducing the impact their products have. The same demand is also reflected in fashion with sustainability-related shopping searches up 75% year on year[3], and the ‘green’ theme predicted to lead for many of the shows at the upcoming London Fashion Week.

No surprise then that sustainability is firmly on the radar, with more and more companies doing what they can to ensure they’re reducing carbon footprints and hitting CSR targets, both from a business perspective and for the sake of shoppers too – where eco-friendly packaging and projects go, they will follow.

Earlier this month, Sheep Inc, the world’s first ever “carbon-negative” fashion brand, made headlines when actor Tom Hardy was spotted donning one of its Merino wool sweaters. Young start-ups are acutely savvy to these requirements, with the recent launch of sustainable sportswear label Lockr Space designed to ‘cater to the needs of everyday athletes’.

It’s widely known that the fashion industry can be held accountable for an estimated 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, so it’s only a matter of time before we see even more of this commitment from globally leading names.

FMCG is making great strides forward too. The last year has seen flat wine bottles, biodegradable tea bags, recycled packaging, and various moves to reduce plastic across products, as well as a focus on renewable energy, the provenance of ingredients and carbon neutrality.

Take BrewDog for example, last year the brewery became the first international beer manufacturer to be “carbon-negative”, as it took twice as much carbon out of the air as it emitted. A £30million investment plan backed a series of initiatives to take on the fight against climate change, including plans for a 2,000+ acre forest in the Scottish Highlands, committing to wind-powered British bars and investing to shorten the supply chains of its local brewing sites.

BrewDog continues to win with its transparent and frank comms strategy. To start with, it acknowledged it was “a long way from perfect” but was staying determined to change, and admitted the company was learning as it went along.

For BrewDog, and many brands across sectors, change comes in the form of small steps that lead to a bigger, long-term goal. It doesn’t happen overnight so whether you’re moving over to different formats, changing your packaging, or removing an aspect of a product to increase recyclability, treading the line slowly but surely is still progress – and being transparent with media and consumers is key.

From pledging to 100% recyclable portfolios, to reducing 50million tonnes of plastic in five years’ time, or committing to ensuring a completely circular supply chain, we can work with you to deliver the right message.

Want to know more? Get in touch today at hello@mercieca.co.uk

[1] Getty Images, 2020
[2] Mintel Market Research, 2021
[3] As published in Lyst’s “Year in Fashion” report

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