Why you should sell sustainability!

Hannah Hooton
December 1, 2022

Sustainability. It’s no longer a “buzz word”, it’s a non-negotiable.

Over the last 4-5 years, the rise of conscious consumerism has completely altered the retail landscape. So much so, that unsustainable practices are no longer acceptable. Fast fashion brands are coming under tremendous pressure and are quickly being outed and cancelled on social media.

A survey by Deloitte revealed that, in 2022, 40% of consumers chose brands that have environmentally sustainable practices/values. But more interestingly, according to the survey, consumers tend to trust companies with a strong public perception of being sustainable.

This means you can’t just be a sustainable brand, you have to showcase your sustainable practices to the world too. Consumers don’t want to hear you talk the talk. They want to see you walk the walk!

Enter sustainable marketing.


Sustainable marketing (by definition) is the promotion of environmental and socially responsible products, practices, and brand values. In simple terms, it's showcasing to the world that you're sustainable. 

If you've ever spent a little bit more on something because you know it was locally sourced or 100% recyclable, you've experienced sustainable marketing. 


I must preface here. Before you even think about any sustainable marketing you must actually be sustainable - it's in the name! Because if you run a sustainable marketing campaign without actually making a conscious effort to be sustainable, you’ll quickly get called out for "greenwashing". This is the worst-case scenario. Because the only thing consumers hate more than a brand that isn’t sustainable is one that isn’t sustainable and pretends to be.

In fact, Pretty Little Thing recently got called out hard for this when they released their "PLT Marketplace". What seemed like a great idea... quickly turned south.

The thing PLT misunderstood is that people see them as an anti-green brand. They're constantly called out for their fast-fashion practices. So when they launched "PLT Marketplace" - focused on reusing and recycling their clothes - out of the blue. Well, everything seemed a little bit fishy. 

The idea is great. But as a brand you can't take such a U-turn without clearing up all the other accusations. Otherwise, it just looks like a mere cover-up. 

Although this move seems awesome on the surface. Consumers have seen right through it. Sorry PLT, but this is classic "greenwashing" and just isn't it! 


That's the question on the tip of your tongue, isn't it? How can you market sustainability? Honestly, it's a much simpler answer than you probably would have thought. It all comes down to not trying to over-market, but simply educating your audience on your sustainable practices.  

You don't need some clever copy that shows the world how great you are. You definitely don't need to spin it in a certain way to make you look better (please don't do this). All you need is a campaign that enlightens your target audience about the sustainable practices you already have. 



At Genie Goals, we recently made it clear as a team that the climate crisis is a priority. The planet and people are more important than our profit. We're lucky enough to work with some amazing sustainable brands, and that's who we want to work with. That's our passion. So thank you fast fashion, but we're slow fashion all the way.

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