The Eco-Friendly Evolution in Marketing

  • Oct 11, 2021

Around the world, the ecofriendly movement is galvanizing consumers and companies to reduce, reuse and recycle. These initiatives are nothing new—Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and the Don’t Mess With Texas catchphrase came out in 1985 for the iconic anti-littering campaign—but the movement continues to gather momentum and has become a way of life for many. Just a few years ago, thinking green was a fringe movement in the world of promotional marketing. It’s quickly becoming mainstream.

Sustainability is trending because there’s a dire need for it, but what continues—in part—to drive people to the product are innate benefits. For suppliers manufacturing eco-friendly apparel, a large portion of the product’s appeal comes from comfort and structure, and at the most fundamental level, the garment’s fibers, which can have a major effect on a company’s sustainability. There are many eco-friendly fibers to consider when manufacturing clothing, like recycled polyester, bamboo, Pinatex (pineapple leather), fish leather, organic linen, cork, and organic cotton. But hemp is particularly popular—and no, it isn’t because of the legal marijuana boom. Here’s more about the fiber and its many benefits.

Hemp requires little water, no pesticides, and naturally fertilizes the soil it grows in. And because it’s low-maintenance, it costs less to cultivate. Hemp also produces two-to-three times more fiber per acre than cotton, is 95-percent UV-resistant, mold-resistant, hypoallergenic, non-irritating and pest-resistant. It’s also a strong fiber—up to four times stronger than cotton—which means clothing made from hemp fibers will last longer. One of the oldest fibers in the world, first spun to make clothing some 10,000 years ago, hemp is also antibacterial and durable, and it continues to soften the more it’s washed.

Packaging is an element that goes hand-in-hand with products and has recently come under fire from consumers because of the excess inherent in all kinds of products from cosmetics to toys. Eco-friendly packaging can make a big difference. Through an upcoming initiative called Bag the Plastic, our supplier partner AAA Innovations is eliminating the plastic bags and nylon sleeves that come with their umbrellas. “Umbrellas from most companies usually come in plastic bags,” says Jeff Nanus, president. “Many umbrellas also have a nylon or polyester sleeve that no one ever uses. The polyester sleeve also comes in a plastic bag. That all goes in the garbage.” It will be replaced that with a biodegradable Kraft paper sleeve that looks like a gift bag. It’s just one more example of the ways environmental concerns are impacting the world of marketing.


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