What was the last (non-essential) thing you bought?

 

We need to reject impulsive consumption. Shopping needs to become more deliberate and thoughtful. We need to learn how to shop with intention.” That’s a commercially admirable quote from Paul Dillinger the Vice President of Global Product Innovation at Levi Strauss & Co

 

We heard the same provocation from Patagonia in the ‘You don’t need this jacket’ and ‘Buy Less and Demand More’ campaigns. It was an honest attempt to deter consumers from buyingsomething new before asking, Do I really need it? Can I repair what’s worn out? Can I pass it down for continued use?

 

In a sustainable landscape, people will buy quality over quantity, they will justify the value of paying more because they are made to last, innovations will improve production process, and the infrastructure is wired to support circular economy.

 

In a 2019 study, 62 percent of Generation Z prefer to buy from sustainable brands, and the majority of Generation Z (54 percent) state that they are willing to spend an incremental 10% or more on sustainable products, with 50% of Millennials echoing the same sentiment.

 

“I think we used to be a company that supported activists, and now we are more of an activist company,” says the Director of Philosophy at Patagonia. Nearly 2/3 global consumers will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue. Patagonia must be resonating with belief-driven buyers who have supported it into a $1B business.

 

“Patagonia is about two things: quality and values. Simple as that. They consistently execute on those two core ideas, and don’t get caught up in the noise. This is effectively what puts them in a class of their own”, said a CEO of a large clothing chain in the US.

 

So, how do your brand values stack up against social issues and global challenges?

 

More importantly, how are you deploying your brand to make a sustainable impact for shareholders and consumers alike….and be in a class of your own?