Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Consuming Less; Consuming Better

Lots of brands are stressing their environmental credentials.  Some recent examples -

Howies Hand Me Down - a range of clothes and bags designed to have a life longer than the wearer.

The IOU Project - items made from cloth made by weavers in India.  Expensive products that are pretty much unique

A.P.C ask people to bring back their old pairs of A.P.C. jeans, and buy new pairs at cost price

Patagonia's Common Threads Initiative with Ebay - take the pledge to buy less, and buy used Patagonia items

Rapha's Jersey Downsize offer - if you lose weight as a result of your cycling, you can return your old Rapha top and buy a new one for half price

As a related point, I'm starting to think that just as the well off are now generally thinner than the less well off - a factor of changes in food production in the latter part of the 20th century - the more well off are starting to have less 'stuff' than the less well off.  I think I've noticed this more since reading John Naish's book 'Enough'.

The more well off can afford better quality, so they need fewer items of clothing, they are more likely to have more digital technology so they can live more with downloads rather than physical objects.

What this means for marketers is a focus on quality, difference and scarcity.  If you only want two pairs of shoes (rather than 20) you're going to make sure that those two pairs are pretty special.

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