American Marketer


Luxury brands promote sustainable initiatives on Earth Day

April 22, 2016

Image from Saks Fifth Avenue Image from Saks Fifth Avenue


On Earth Day April 22, luxury companies used the holiday as a conversation starter about their environmentally-friendly efforts.

Whether highlighting minor changes or large-scale campaigns, brands took a moment to share the impact they have had on the planet. Others spoke to their general love of Earth, posting natural scenes or spotlighting global destinations, allowing them to connect with consumers on a level broader than products.

Earth affection
In a couple of posts on Twitter, Nordstrom detailed its environmental impact, linking to more information on its corporate site. In 2015, the retailer saved the equivalent amount of energy needed to power 1,000 homes through efforts such as its packaging made of at least 50 percent recycled materials.

Mugler also shared a statistic that it refills one of its perfume bottles for a consumer every seven seconds. Preventing 383 tons of waste from 2.3 million bottles, The Source lets consumer bring a bottle from one of two scents into a store to have an advisor refill it.

The Source - The Refilling Art - Thierry Mugler

Similarly, Armani linked to information about its Acqua for Life initiative in partnership with UNICEF. Moncler publicized that it had planted a tree in the name of each of its employees through Treedom, filling out forests in Kenya.

Some brand identities are centered on sustainability, making Earth Day a time for reminders.

Forevermark shared that its sourcing and production prioritizes the “protection of the natural world, the ultimate source of our diamonds.” Likewise, Tesla took a moment to reflect on the 400 percent growth in electric cars last year, sharing a video of some of its models on the move.

While they did not highlight specific initiatives, Shiseido and Tiffany took a moment to remind consumers of their general commitment to sustainability.

Saks and Net-A-Porter prompted Earth appreciation. Saks told consumers to reflect on Mother Nature’s beauty, while Net-A-Porter asked its Instagram audience which of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World was a top travel priority for them.

Ralph Lauren similarly shared its awe at Yosemite National Park, linking to an article about a mountaineer’s documentary film celebrating the centennial of the U.S. National Park Service.

Beyond getting consumers involved, brands may inspire their employees to personally take up the cause.

Strategic sustainability should be focused, starting from a brand’s interior before radiating outward toward consumers, according to panelists at The New York Times International Luxury Conference April 5.

Panelists during the “Strategic Sustainability” session agreed that for sustainability practices to work, brand employees must stand behind the company’s efforts. Employees are the best brand advocates available and can attest to a brand’s charitable initiatives and values as being authentic (see story).