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Brands are coming clean about their sustainability practices to earn trust (and forgiveness) with young consumers. 

Sep 24 2021

Brands are coming clean about their sustainability practices to earn trust (and forgiveness) with young consumers. This week marks Climate Change Week N.Y.C., and as brands double down on sustainability messaging to show consumers they’re committed to the cause, others are embodying “radical transparency” to show where they’ve gone wrong in the past and how they’re committed to changing for the better. Amsterdam-based eyewear brand Ace & Tate told consumers last week, “Look, we f*cked up,” in a blog post detailing the company’s past mistakes surrounding environmental sustainability (like their decision to switch to polyphenylene ether (PPE) and bamboo fibre glasses to appeal to consumers’ assumption that bamboo is sustainable while significantly reducing the recyclability of the product). Reformation and Everlane have also adopted the concept of “radical transparency” by being open about the limitations their brands face when it comes to being truly sustainable. Meanwhile, luxury designer Ganni uses the tagline “We’re not sustainable” to communicate its pitfalls over the years. According to a 2019 study from sustainability consultancy Futerra, 79% of Gen Z and 66% of Millennials think brands aren’t honest enough about environmental sustainability. Lucy Shea, CEO of Futerra explains that brands “need a good sustainability strategy with proof of action before [they] put out communications about it,” and YPulse research shows that 82% of young consumers believe corporations (companies, brands, etc.) should take more responsibility for fighting climate change. (Vogue Business)