Make Sustainability Sexy.

How do we make sustainability sexy? That does not mean how do we sexualise green issues. What I mean to ask is..

“How to we market sustainability to the Me generation?”

How do we draw in a generation that puts community and family 2nd to themselves.   Part of the answer is that we have to make a story that is cool and make it easy and fun to join in, to be part of a tribe that is awesome.

The ecological and social elements of products are important for many consumers, but are still down the list of priorities below style, quality and price. Generation me just wants to know this makes them cool. It blends them into their tribe.

Sustainability has to be positioned to meet a people’s needs.    The marketing of sustainability must be positive and draw people into something neat.

“Buy this or the polar bear drowns” is less effective than “I’m saving dolphins and you can too”.

A brilliant example of positive sustainability messaging is the Camira Fabrics / Wools of New Zealand Dolphin Campaign.

Wools of New Zealand grow eco-friendly Laneve wool in a way that protects the NZ waterways where the Hectors Dolphin lives.   Camira convert our Laneve wool into their very beautiful Blazer upholstery fabric, and both companies use a portion of the proceeds to fund research by the New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust which helps scientist understand how to better protect the dolphins habitat.

Interior designers can buy the fabric and help us save the dolphins.   “We are saving dolphins and you can join us.”

This post is not an argument for Corporate Social Responsibility; this post is about how we communicate our green credentials. It is more powerful to lead people to your product with positive messages than it is to say “This product contains less nasty stuff”

Start something social that people can feel a part of. Don’t alienate people and point out their bad habits. It really boils down to basic psychology – Carrot wins out over stick.

hectors dolphins

Hectors Dolphins at play. Image courtesy New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust.

Titus & Tangled

Gorillas in the wool.

This is Titus (of Gorillas in the mist fame) as drawn by Emma J Shipley, a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art.

Titus on Blazer

Titus the Gorilla

Emma has worked with Camira Fabrics to create the Titus and Tangled collections, printed onto beautiful Laneve wool from New Zealand.  Emma is known for her amazingly intricate and detailed line drawings.  Her style has been described as “meticulously precise” and “astonishingly skilful and distinctive”.

Camira Fabrics are known for technical excellence and stunningly attractive interior upholstery fabrics.   They are a team of highly motivated textile innovators with a social conscience.   This is the same Camira who have worked with Wools of  New Zealand to support the endangered Hector’s Dolphin.

This time Camira are supporting the Gorilla Organization, which works internationally to protect the world’s remaining gorillas in their natural habitat in Central Africa.

More information on Camira’s website.. 

Camira have produced two designs from Emma Shipley’s artwork, both printed on Blazer fabric which is woven with Laneve wool (all traceable to our farms)


Tangled by Emma Shipley and Camira on NZ wool

Sexy Authenticity

Enchanting your customers is essential to building your brand and selling products at reasonable margins.

Buying in bulk and selling at volume works if you are big enough, but it’s a lot of work and you will always be vulnerable to market fluctuations, volatile pricing and other beige products that copy you.

To break out of the commodity downward cycle we need to inspire people to engage with our brands.   A fancy logo and a mission statement is not a brand.  A brand is the experience that customers have with you and it is only as valuable as your customers believe it is.

A push mentality won’t build a brand and it won’t get people engaged with your product.

People no longer want to be marketed to and they no longer pay good money for average stuff.  People want to be entertained, engaged and thrilled by what they spend decent money on,  or they want a bargain.  People want to be enchanted.

People want to trust a product and a brand.  Knowing what value is being delivered, where the product was made, by who and from what are all important to affluent environmentally conscious consumers.

Make your product sexy, and make it authentic.

Make it renewable, natural, promote the benefits to the person who buys it and make it aspirational.

Use scarcity to your advantage.  If it is scarce it is harder to get hold of, and more treasured by those that can afford it.

Do you want to be all things to all people or special to a few people that love your product and are willing to pay for what only you have to offer?

The fabric below Blazer by Camira uses 100% Laneve wool from New Zealand which is traceable to the farms in New Zealand where it is grown.  The product offers incredible performance as well as being sensuous and colourful.

Blazer by Camira Fabrics – A Sexy and Authentic product