3 Reasons Why Purpose-Driven Marketing & Storytelling Will Improve Your Sustainable Fashion Brand
Updated: Apr 20
Is the sustainable direction you chose for your fashion brand proving to be more challenging than you thought? I know what that feeling is like.
I, Lila, co-owner of IMPACT worked in the fashion sector for almost a decade. I even started my own fashion line and was sure I’d change the world with the natural beetroot, licorice, and turmeric dyes I was using to create my color palettes. Seeing how difficult implementing natural processes has made me even more appreciative of companies who are taking charge to minimize the harmful impact that their creations have on the planet.
After many years working in an industry that distracts people from the truth with the newest trends and shiny allure, I decided to step away from the fashion sphere and direct my efforts towards helping brands in a different way.
At IMPACT, we help purpose-driven companies incorporate storytelling in their messaging to truly help the world see the importance and power that sustainable companies can have. As consumers, we need to pay more attention to what’s really going on and invest in companies that are making an effort to be sustainable in real ways.
While sustainability is definitely 2022’s biggest buzzword, true eco-conscious fashion connoisseurs have been totally smitten with the idea of making a true impact without leaving a negative footprint all along. Sustainable marketing is at the core of every successful, purpose-driven company - and for pretty good reasons.
But why do you need to invest to make your fashion brand more sustainable? It’s pretty costly, the production and manufacturing challenges are more than enough. Not to mention the misleading or misused jargon some competitors are using to “green-wash” their own collections.
2022 is the quintessential time to choose sustainable fashion brands
The answer lies in your company’s brand value. Did you know that 53% of consumers prefer green or sustainable products? What’s even more amazing? 75% say they would pay more for environmentally friendly products. So it’s safe to say that your sustainable marketing efforts won’t end up with you figuratively screaming your brand proposition into the void. There is a real demand for purpose-driven sustainable fashion brands that actually care!
Every marketing consultant can agree on one thing; if you own a sustainable fashion brand and are transparent and environmentally, and socially conscious, 92% of customers are more likely to trust you.
Brand highlight: DoneGood
With a quick look at DoneGood’s sustainable marketing, we can get an idea of how powerful having a unique brand value that resonates with your target audience really is. As Forbes describes them, they are “the amazon of social good.” Their mission is pretty simple, yet extremely impactful.
The brand strives to give us a way to shop with intent and reduce poverty, fight climate change and strengthen communities each time we hit “click to cart.” Since launching, the brand has diverted over $1.75 million of consumer spending to brands that do good for people, animals, and the planet - now that’s a strong brand value thousands of people can relate to.
But I don’t know how to create a strong strategy around my brand marketing, we hear you say in frustration. In reality, it’s pretty simple. Purpose-driven brands have great stories to tell; it all begins with clear and very solid foundation for your why, mission, and vision and then finding the best way to tell emotion-provoking stories.
Sustainable marketing is just like an ethically-created t-shirt: longevity & quality are guaranteed
The power of storytelling is immense; it can communicate, shape, persuade and attract without having to shove your too salesy ads on anyone’s virtual face. Now, if you combine it with niche-specific, sustainable marketing, you’ll have the perfect formula for long-term success. Luckily, there are many examples of sustainable fashion brands that leveraged the power of storytelling to launch, grow and thrive.
Brand highlight: Everlane
The ethical fashion market was estimated at $5.84 billion in 2021. In the case of Everlane, storytelling branding with a strong focus on sustainable marketing is what helped them become a part of the aforementioned statistic. But what’s so special about their brand proposition? “At Everlane, we want the right choice to be as easy as putting on a great T-shirt,” they mentioned; a quick, catchy yet extremely relatable message that resonates with their core clientele.
The brand has had a unique approach in mind: radical transparency. Their storytelling branding overflows with emotive words and real-life examples of what customers want to see; a strive for change.
It’s this exact sustainable marketing that has us all in a quiver with excitement each time a new line is dropped - since 2010. You see, both in marketing and in products, sustainability equals longevity, quality, transparency, and understanding.
You will make a true IMPACT with your brand positioning
We get that the fashion world, even if companies are sustainable, still creates a ton of waste. But the truth is, we will always need clothing so we might as well support companies that care about reducing their environmental footprint. Unlike regular brands that simply offer customers sartorial upgrades based on the passing fads, your sustainable fashion brand has a true purpose. That’s exactly why your brand positioning is crucial. With real stories of your sustainable fashion process and the reasoning behind why you choose to work with certain partners, you can more authentically craft your brand marketing strategies, establishing yourself as an authority in the field.
The end goal is to have such a strong brand purpose that your ideal customers resonate with and want to share with others. By buying into your company, your customers will be a part of helping the causes they care about too. As American marketing author Philip Kotler defined it “it’s the act of designing the company's offering and image to occupy a meaningful and distinctive position in the target market’s mind”. The power of storytelling with sprinkles of great copywriting, striking video production, and your strong brand value will allow your customers to understand exactly what makes you different from your competitors.
Brand highlight: PACT
That’s exactly how PACT managed to position themselves as a leader in the sustainable fashion sphere. With the catchy phrase “Earth's Favorite™ Clothing brand”, this brand encourages consumers to reduce their climate impact when using their ethically crafted and sourced products. They are not just another sustainable fashion brand. They are fun, inclusive, a bit humorous, uplifting, and empowering - just like their customers.
Purpose-driven brands will always outrun those who are just in it for the quick grab
Especially in the fashion world, fast-fashion boutiques pop up everywhere left and right. For the most part, all these companies have one thing in common: short life spans. However, that’s certainly not the case for purpose-driven brands that thrive on ethical business practices while having a strong vision in mind to actually make a change. It’s not just about sales. You want to shout out what you really stand for to the world and take action on something bigger than simply selling products and services.
To us at IMPACT, sustainable marketing is about helping businesses create authentic connections, interweaving stories that spark emotions, lead people to transformation, and inspire them to act. There is nothing basic about your brand and values, so why settle for less than stellar storytelling branding and brand marketing? By looking at the long-term picture, together we’ll future-proof your brand with your (and the planet’s) best interest in mind.