Why I Care: Sustainable Brands & Writing for the Conscious Consumer
To niche or not to niche, that is the question.
Except for me, it really wasn’t. I knew when I started writing, that it would only be for brands and publications that aligned with my values. On my about page, I describe my freelance writing as a big bang collision between my passion for wellness, care for sustainability, and deep love for the written word.
In this post, I’m going to dig into the middle one and tell you why I care about sustainable brands and how I can help you write for the conscious consumer (or those aspiring to be).
Why I Care about Sustainable Brands
Although it goes without saying that real impact happens when big companies and governments make systematic changes, I believe the anecdote to eco-anxiety and feelings of helplessness around climate change is to be more mindful about consumption habits.
Essentially, I believe that if we just stepped out of autopilot a little more often we could drastically change the route we’re going down. When you differentiate what you agree with, from what you’ve been programmed to go along with, you can start to see how trends can change. We got into this mess, and we can get out of it. After all, consumer habits lead to company decisions.
And I know I’m not the only one who sees this.
The Rise of the Conscious consumers
A noticeable shift is happening in the UK and around the globe: people are asking ‘why’ before they buy.
We are in the age of the self-educated consumer, where 80% of sales begin with research. A 2018 survey revealed that 75% of the British public modify their shopping behaviour based on environmental and sustainable factors. And it seems conscious consumerism is on an upward trend, as a 2020 global survey by management consultancy firm Accenture found that 60% reported more environmentally friendly, sustainable, or ethical purchases since the start of the pandemic.
Conscious consumers are a powerful market. They’re questioning the status quo and looking to better themselves with every buy. They’re the drivers of changing trends who hold a vision for a different future.
But the conscious consumer can only exist with sustainable and ethical brands communicating honestly and effectively. They’re reconnecting to the process before they consume the product. It’s time to consider what makes your brand sustainable and how best to share your eco-story.
What makes a brand Ethical and Sustainable?
‘Ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ are umbrella terms and can refer to a range of different practices put in place throughout a brand’s production, retail, and purchasing. This includes issues such as fair working conditions and fair trade, environmentally sustainable production, animal welfare, thoughtful packaging and transportation, carbon offsetting, circular production line, charitable partnerships, activism…the list goes on.
Whether it’s natural and holistic wellness products, cruelty-free skincare, or a mission to slow down fast fashion, a sustainable brand has the environment and ethics at the heart of every decision.
Does this sound like you? Then you’re in the right place.
Blog Content for sustainable brands
Sustainable brands should provide content for the conscious consumer.
The big thing to avoid for sustainable brands is greenwashing. ‘Greenwashing’ is a term that refers to when brands market themselves as more eco-friendly than they are, using language that hugely exaggerates or obscures the truth. For example, ‘eco-friendly’ is a loose term that can mean a lot of different things, yet it is frequently plastered in posts without any evidence or proof as to sustainability practices.
Obviously, it attracts the right people to your post if it’s in the title, but it needs to be backed up with evidence and reliable sources. If you’re certified, I’ll showcase that. If you have quantifiable evidence, such as the number of recycled materials in your clothes, I’ll build that in. And if you use innovative ingredients or fabrics, I’ll deep dive into what it does.
I’m all about transparency too. Customers who care want brands to be explicit about any gaps in their production. I know, it’s scary stuff. But including the sustainable practices you are working towards but are not able to implement yet says a lot about you as a brand. People want to know about the goals you’re working on, rather than the cliches you’re hiding behind.
And it’s no longer just about what you do, it’s about why and how you do it too. Blog posts can provide insights into your process, factories, and brand values which help you build a relationship with consumers.
Need Someone to Help You Share Your Eco-Story?
To circle right back to the top, I care a lot about ethical and sustainable brands. And that includes you.
If you need someone who understands your customers and can confidently communicate your mission, be sure to check out my services pages to see how I can help.