Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fashion: Looking Great While Being Eco-Friendly

There is nothing wrong with looking great while buying products that are environmentally sustainable. Life Khacki offers a solid brand that looks modern, feels great, and retails for a reasonable $25-30. Fashion doesn’t need to be about buying products that enhance your physical image alone but can also include a new dimension on how you feel about yourself.  Few things compare to looking great while protecting the environment when wearing clothing with recycled material by Repreve.

Repreve is a recycle microfiber that uses items like plastic bottles and other waste to make a high quality material used in clothing. Because the materials are recycled there is less petroleum and greenhouse gases omitted. For example in 2012 they recycled 410 million plastic bottles. This equates to 2,934 acres of pine forest or 3.8 million gallons of gasoline.  You can also ponder on how they save enough drinking water for 52,313 people per year. 

The company’s material makes its way into everything from men’s clothing to television sets.  Think of companies like Life Khacki, Swiftwick, North Face, Haggar, Vitamin A Swimwear, Ford and American Flora Dance and Yoga Wear. In an increasingly cost conscious and environment conscience market companies are finding the benefit of including eco-friendly clothing. 

Repreve’s brand position doesn’t necessarily come from pushing sales. Instead, pushing environmentally sound behavior in the form of altruism can lead to higher levels of purchase behavior (Yeoh & Paladino, 2013). Customers don’t want to be pushed to buy a product but don’t mind being encouraged to feel good about themselves through the products they do buy.

You may be surprised to notice that many of the products that use Repreve’s microfiber are outdoor or beauty oriented.  These are the same demographics that not only enjoy the environment but also want to protect it. Nothing frustrates hikers and beach goers more than piles of garbage and entire forests cleared without significant justification. 

Clothing that is good for the environment and saves waste by recycling materials has more value than other textile products.  Contributing to recycling and avoiding the unnecessary opening of new fields or inadvertent destruction of the environment is the responsible thing to do. Companies that can take the old and build something new are not only inventive new outputs but also develop additional social capital.

Yeoh, M. & Paladino, A. (2013). Prestige and environmental behaviors: does branding matter? Journal of Branding Management,  20 (4).

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