Many brands around the world today already see the importance of sustainability. If we’ve learned anything in the 21st century, it’s that sustainability is vital. Without it, such problems as global warming, polluted seas, wildlife endangerment, and the loss of essential planetary resources will decidedly become more pronounced.

Sustainability is important, and some brands take this mantra to heart. Thankfully, the need to make a profit is not the sole drive for every brand. There are many companies and business organizations that incorporate sustainable brand values in their day-to-day activities. Among other things, we’ll be taking a look at them in this article.

What Is a Sustainable Brand?

To qualify as sustainable, a brand must balance the human factor with the financial and environmental ones.

A sustainable brand is the one that incorporates the principles and values of environmental sustainability in its actions, product creation, and service provision without hindering customer satisfaction.

That is, for a brand to be deemed sustainable, it must:

  • Hold itself to such high standards that it only uses environmentally safe raw materials. But, this shouldn’t automatically translate to lowering the quality of products. Adherence to environmental safety measures and guaranteeing customer satisfaction aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
  • Develop and use unique processes, tools, delivery methods, strategies, knowledgebase, etc. These innovative thinking products must contribute to environmental safety without neglecting the importance of social and economic factors.
  • Communicate and relate to the public so that its sustainability inspires other brands and customers to follow in its footsteps. After all, one brand being sustainable in an ocean of non-adherents doesn’t quite make for a healthy planet.

If a brand can do all these, while continually finding new ways to create and maintain sustainability, they will fit perfectly into the definition of a sustainable brand.

Sustainable Brand Values

Every brand that fits into the description of sustainability has the following values.

Eco-Friendliness

The ingredients and raw materials that a brand uses for its products or in the process of rendering its services form an essential part of its sustainability. As such, sustainable brands always make it a priority to use all-natural ingredients.

As a customer, this should be relatively easy for you to detect. For example, if you’re looking to purchase a skincare product, you can take a glance at the ingredients list. A sustainable brand will have such natural ingredients as aloe vera, argan, shea butter, etc.

An example of such a brand is the makeup brand, W3ll People. This makeup company uses cruelty-free and natural cosmetic products to nourish and soothe the skin while offering the desired results.

W3ll People Come Clean

W3ll People and their Come Clean Project

For brands whose products can’t precisely use natural products, their value might differ slightly. Nevertheless, it will still involve some form of environmental friendliness, either in use or disposal.

This value directly impacts the health of customers in different ways across different industries. In skincare products, for example, it will lead to improved health and reduced risk of cancer. This will happen because there are no inorganic materials contained in the product.

Also, environmental sustainability brands deftly concentrate on running their business, not to harm the environment in any way. Indeed, they may not sell the same products everyone else does. But, they help create a more sustainable environment by planting trees, donating, recycling, etc.

Fair Pay & Fair Trade

One of the central values of a sustainable brand is that they treat people right and pay them well, too. Refusal to do so will amount to taking advantage of people.

A genuinely sustainable brand doesn’t resort to the poor treatment of its workers. For them, fairness in payment is non-negotiable. An example of a sustainable brand that meets this description is ASOS.

ASOS responsibility edit

ASOS about responsibility

The benefit of this fair pay to humanity is evident. People no longer have to work like slaves and be rewarded similarly. With fair compensation, any working individual can afford a good standard of living.

Philanthropy

Every sustainable brand aims to give back to society and the earth in one way or the other. Ordinarily, it can be in the form of monetary gifts like donating money directly to eco-friendly groups.

But, philanthropy doesn’t necessarily need to come in the form of hard cash. Some brands demonstrate this value by organizing key events and programs for the public. Among other things, these events will help educate people about the environment alongside the other factors involved in ensuring sustainability.

Walmart does this. Every year, they make millions of dollars in donations towards economic development, environmental sustainability, and communities’ advancement through construction and engagement projects.

Walmart Who we are

Walmart Foundation making a difference

This value helps make the world a better place by giving the people and groups that need it the most. It is arguably one of the most important values as it supports humanity at its weakest.

Of course, there is a truckload of values that guide sustainable brands outside the ones mentioned here. But, these are three of the most common.

Sustainable Brand Activations

Brand activation is any activity, event, or program that enables your brand to relate to customers directly. The purpose of brand activation is usually to create a lasting community of customers who are passionate about your brand.

To apply it to sustainability, we’d say that sustainable brand activation applies all the sustainability principles to interact more closely with the community.

Top Sustainability Brands That Make a Difference

Sustainable brands focus on helping society, making the world a better place, and inspiring others. The following examples are proof that there are sustainable brands out there:

Toms Sustainable Brand: Shoes

In 2006, Blake Mycoskie decided to visit Argentina. While there, he shockingly noticed that many children didn’t have any shoes to wear. At this point, he got the idea for a company that’ll help make a difference.

TOMS: One For One

He created TOMS, a brand that donates a pair of shoes to kids for every pair of shoes bought from the company. Today, TOMS has donated more than 60 million shoes across the world.

For One, Another – TOMS

What’s more, is that TOMS protects the planet by being primarily vegan. From their shoe-packing boxes to their shoe-creation materials, this company is truly sustainable.

TOMS about sustainability

TOMS about sustainability initiatives

Adidas Sustainable Brand: Shoes

Despite its roots in Germany, Adidas is one of the most widely-recognized shoe brands globally. With over 900-million products created yearly, this brand is a big deal in the business world.

Despite its size, however, Adidas has a long history of sustainability. As early as 1989, the brand saw fit to ban CFCs’ use in creating their products.

Adidas sustainability history

Adidas: sustainability history

Even now, in 2020, they’ve publicized their sustainability strategy. As always, they’re shifting to a 100% recyclable material-use for their products and managed to make millions of shoes of ocean waste.

Adidas Parley Collection at Road Runner Sports

Gucci Sustainability Brand: Perfumes & Fashion

Gucci is a luxury brand that’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars in today’s economy. One of their most notable sustainability feats is that they are one of the first brands to start using the EP&L account.

This account is the Environmental Profit and Loss account. It aids in the monitoring of greenhouse gasses in the business. What’s more, Gucci has created a 10-year sustainability plan for themselves and turn society’s attention to the necessity of protecting our environment.

Gucci for HOME

Gucci sustainability initiatives

Gucci about their sustainability plan

This will help them to slash the emissions of greenhouse gasses in half by 2025. So, if you’re asking yourself the question, ‘Is Gucci a sustainable brand?’ the answer to that is yes.

Tretorn Sustainable Brand: Clothing

Tretorn is a Swedish sustainable brand that deals with clothing. You can see a mind-blowing example of their sustainability in their Leftover Project.

Tretorn’s Leftover Project

Tretorn’s Leftover Project

In this project, the company bought leftover fabrics from different manufacturers and reused them to make limited edition. This is just one of the many efforts towards sustainability this company makes.

Tretorn – Rain Jacket From The Sea

Prada Sustainable Brand: Perfumes & Fashion

As a fashion industry member, Prada is one of the best examples of what a sustainable brand should look like. This is hardly up for argument, considering that the brand scores up to 85% in certified and recycled paper.

Prada’s Re-Nylon Project

Prada’s Re-Nylon Project

Alongside this, 100% of their energy is made from renewable sources in Italy.

Prada Group’s Sustainability commitment

Inspiring eCommerce Sustainable Brand Examples

These days, the world is moving further towards a vastly digital civilization. To that effect, we have multiple eCommerce stores and shops.

Some of them are still committed to maintaining sustainability. By all standards, this is incredibly inspiring. A few of these brands include:

Filippa K

Filippa K is one of the top fashion sustainability brands that run online today. The company was founded in 1993 and has grown since then to become a vast Scandinavian name.

Among other things that drive Filippa K, the need to protect the environment and ensure sustainability in its other ramifications ranks very high.

This includes social and economic responsibility. To do this, the company ensures that it uses a significant proportion of eco-friendly substances.

The Way We Work: Geneva Coat, Filippa K

They mainly focus on making their wears with organic cotton.

Filippa K sustainability framework

Filippa K’s sustainability framework

Alongside this, the company makes it a priority to treat and discharge wastewater properly as part of the supply chain. With its mission of mindful consumption and prolonged sustainability, this company is nothing short of inspiring.

The Way We Work, Filippa K

PAPER London’s Swimwear

This is an excellent example of a UK sustainable brand. Philippa Thackeray is the creator of PAPER London’s Swimwear. He believes that everyone should take actions within their power to save Mother Earth.

With that mission in mind, his company uses recycled fishing nets to create their swimwear. Keep in mind that otherwise, these fishing nets will take no less than 600 years to go through the full decomposing process.

Paper London about ECONYL

Paper London about ECONYL

100% Pure™

This is another company wholly dedicated to promoting sustainability. As the name suggests, it boldly proclaims a dedication to creating top-quality products accessible to the public.

100% Pure about sustainability

100% Pure about sustainability

With Susan Wang as its founder, its mission is direct — to create the healthiest and purest products while acquainting the world with the essentiality of being 100% pure.

Collina Strada

Hillary Taymour established Collina Strada over a decade ago. The company is based in New York and is significantly dedicated to including sustainability in its operations.

Collina Strada mission

Collina Strada and their sustainability mission

To demonstrate this, Hillary Taymour, their founder, entered into a partnership with The OR. The OR is an organization in the United States striving towards a future of sustainability.

Collina Strada and SwatchOn’s Sustainable Collaboration

Pandora

This company came into being in 1982. Over the years, Pandora has established itself as one of the world’s leading corporate sustainability brands today. Despite its popularity and immense size, this company doesn’t take the environment or the people it serves for granted.

Pandora’s commitment to sustainability

Pandora’s commitment to sustainability

We can see this in Pandora’s use of gold as well as silver for their jewelry. These two materials can undergo recycling without losing their quality. What’s truly unique about this company is every single one of their products will be made from fully recyclable materials by 2025.

Pandora to only use recycled gold, silver

Sustainability Brands Community

More people are becoming increasingly inclined toward the idea of sustainability. By all means, this is excellent for our environment.

As a demonstration of total dedication to sustainability, different individuals and organizations have come together to create communities.

An example of such is the B-Corporation.

B-Corporation Association

B-Corporation is a global community of 3500+ corporations across 74 different countries and 150 industries. These companies always make decisions geared to positively affect the environment, their workers, as all as customers, among others. They’re legally required to do so.

Sustainable Brand Conferences

To raise awareness about sustainability, different organizations worldwide organize conferences at other points in a year. A few of these conferences include:

World Sustainability Forum

This conference took place between the 15th-17th of September 2020. Also, It has held every other year for the last seven years. Its main agenda is to birth sustainable development methods in the long term for regions, people, and the entire planet.

Sustainability Week

This program holds from October 5th to October 9th, 2020. It’s designed for sustainability professionals, academics, and government officials. Among other things, it teaches you how we can cut down on our emission of carbons.

SB Paris

Beyond offering the experience of a conference, this event wants to make a real impact. It aims to be a platform for action takers who work to make the world a better place.

Sustainable Brand Index

This is the most significant sustainability study in all of Europe. It ranks B2Cs and B2Bs annually based on their sustainability level. With over 1400 brands across 35+ different countries, this is a genuinely massive pool of information.

How Your Brand Can Deliver Value

As a brand focused on sustainability, there are tons of ways for you to deliver value. Here are some of them:

Save Resources and Recycle

This is a no-brainer if you’re looking to make the world a better place truly. You understand the nitty-gritty of your business. As such, ensure that at every turn, you’re saving resources instead of wasting them just because it’s easier to do so.

In the same way that brands like Prada and Pandora recycle plastic and precious metal, you can also recycle resources.

Take Care of The Environment

In this regard, you need to act responsibly. Do your best to go for safe means of generating energy so that your office isn’t an emission station for CFCs.
Alongside that, don’t dump waste improperly. Furthermore, you can take care of the environment by organizing community programs daily clean and recycle waste at a dumpsite. These, among many others, are the ways you can care for the environment.

Help Those Who Need It

Sustainability goes beyond just caring for the earth. You need to help humanity, as well. As a company, you can create foundations to provide for those who need it.

Even without foundations, you can make donations to better the lives of people. Besides being a kind thing to do, this is very sustainable. According to a study, as a small company, you can donate an average of 6% of your profits.

Give a Touch of Green

By this, we mean that you should plant trees. Think of it as giving back to the earth. Multiple websites allow you to do that.

Some of them are:

Care About Your People

Sometimes you’ll hear stories of companies taking advantage of their employees and maltreating their customers.

If you’re looking to create a sustainable brand, this shouldn’t be you. Always pay attention to your human factor. Treat your people properly, cultivate integrity, corporate values, trust, and care about each other. Always respect people’s rights, value talents, and provide a friendly environment for cooperation with employees, partners, and customers.

Make a Difference Daily

It can be as little as posting content that will inspire others to be more sustainable. On the other hand, it may be as big as donating millions of dollars to organizations that will use it properly. However, no matter what it is, ensure that you make a difference every day. We are also always on your side, and will never stop making a difference for you.

P.S. Finally, we invite you to watch this deep and emotional video by Thai Life Insurance to feel what it takes to make the world a better place.

Unsung Hero by Thai Life Insurance

Summary

Building a sustainable brand is as essential to the environment as it is beneficial to all of us. Considering that today’s realities don’t give us the luxury of slacking off, we’d say that it’s right time you started working towards sustainability as part of your brand’s modus operandi and growing a powerful brand that improves life. We hope these examples inspired you for something great. But remember, all great things begin with small changes.
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