Sustainability can no longer be an afterthought for brands. Recent studies show that 45 percent of consumers want to buy from sustainable or environmentally responsible brands, and 79 percent say they would switch brands for a more sustainable option. So, it’s become a necessary focus, especially for startups looking to make a mark. But, with so many companies now making that a mission, sustainable startups are taking eco-efforts to the next level. And that means picking partnerships, choosing vendors, and creating hangtags with the planet as a top priority.
A recent example is a partnership between sustainable luxury brand 1 Hotels and Able Made. The responsibly-crafted apparel brand launched a retail pop-up at 1 Hotel Central Park, creating a 360-degree experience for eco-friendly shoppers. The hotel was the ideal partner with a space inspired by nature and designed with reclaimed materials and greenery. That bodes well with Able Made’s products, which use sustainable fabric and are made in NYC’s Garment District, which immensely lowers the brand’s carbon footprint.
Of course, when two sustainable brands come together, the experience itself is one deeply rooted in protecting the planet. The shop uses sustainable paper on its hangtags, organic cotton shopping bags, and a moss logo sign to reflect an endeavor towards 360- responsible design, craft, and display. “The audience for responsibly-, ethically-, and locally-sourced products and experiences in NYC is so tuned in right now that I want to be able to capture people who desire these experiences in new and elevated ways,” says Able Made founder and designer Suzanne McKenzie.
Able Made isn’t the only startup focusing on partnerships to better the planet. French startup Foodles, which provides “fresh, chef-prepared, affordable food,” has partnered with Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, and others to install smart refrigerators in corporate offices as a more sustainable and healthy grab-and-go option.
And even major brands like Tide and the NFL came together in 2021 to launch the #TurntoCold campaign. The reason? The research found that switching from hot to cold water while doing laundry can reduce energy usage by up to 90 percent. That significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Tide took the idea of sustainable partnerships one step further by working with Walmart to develop an interactive website for shoppers showing them how to save money and energy when cleaning their clothes.
What’s clear is that companies, big to small, are recognizing the importance of sustainability in all aspects of the brand, from the product itself to the retail opportunities. And when two brands with similar values come together, it amplifies that mission even more with the planet as a beneficiary.