So this is it. Here we are. Building up our very own communications agency for sustainable fashion and lifestyle brands. But how did we get here? And who are we?
Let`s start by introducing ourselves. We are Sarah and Geraldine. Two communications professionals who have worked in the fashion industry for over a decade now – always going strong, playing that marketing and PR game. Until we both had kids and our priorities shifted. Living a sustainable life wasn´t an option any more. It was a must and became a big part of our daily lives. So when it was time to get back to work we decided to make a change. To combine the two passions of ours: fashion and sustainability. We discovered a huge movement and a strong trend. So we decided to do IT – and by the way still doing it. We created our own jobs in our own communications agency: AWAKE Communications. We do work now we strongly believe in and which motivates us every day: supporting amazing sustainable fashion and lifestyle brands we admire.
But let´s have a closer look on that mega trend sustainability. Sustainability is a trend and a necessity at the same time. For us and for future generations to come. Looking at both stronger environmental legislation and ethic-social standards, companies that follow a sustainable agenda are at an advantage. The United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development demands sustainable production and consumption as one of the 17 sustainable development goals. German economy magazine WirtschaftsWoche calls sustainability the new premium. A trend that is growing stronger and pushes fiercely into the fashion and lifestyle sector. At first sight this seems to be an antagonism. Fashion and lifestyle products are usually replaced rather quickly, and consumers are incented to buy more and more to drive company sales. But there are alternatives. Eco and fair fashion and lifestyle brands are rethinking their products and production methods. The „niche“ is growing. And there is another reason: consumers are asking for it. Oeko-Tex says: “There is a new movement. 40% of consumers want to be and act sustainable. The more they know about production methods the more they rethink their consumption.”
The “conventional” fashion industry realizes this trend as well- and of course acts accordingly: upcycling collections, rental services and sustainable capsule collections are everywhere. This is a good start into the right direction. Even though the term greenwashing clings to a lot of these efforts. Because the fast fashion industry in itself isn´t sustainable. One thing´s for sure: todays model of textile manufacturing, fashion production and consumption, which is based on cheap materials energy and labour comes to its limits. In 2030 there will be 8.5 Billion people on earth and the clothing production is likely to grow accordingly.
This is why we need a change. A change in textile manufacturing and clothing production. More transparency and fair working conditions. The great news is: there are companies out there who maintain an ecological and fair way to produce clothes. Companies that act sustainable out of belief. These are the companies AWAKE Communications aims to support. Fashion and lifestyle companies that have it both: the aesthetics AND the ethics. Sustainability alone is not enough. For the customer the product, its design and quality will always come first. Combined with a unique story to tell and a customized communications strategy green brands need to shine in the spotlight, where they belong. They need to be seen. Much more than they are now. Not only by the fair fashion scene with a strong interest in sustainability, but also by a wider audience. Again, and again and all over again. This is the only way to make potential customers aware, so they can change their habits – and shopping lists. The market potential is here. What´s missing? Communication! Marketing and PR are clearly the missing link between sustainable companies and the consumer, says The Ethicologist (affordable market research for the ethic apparel industry).
And this is where the loop closes I guess and where we and AWAKE Communications come into play. Let us be sustainable together. Integrating ecological and social criteria not only in every aspect our private lives, but also in our everyday business operations.
Sarah & Geraldine
Credits: Lena Scherer Fotografie