As a New Yorker, I cannot help to spend a good portion of my free time and commute to work window shopping. Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, Broadway - you name it, a store is there.
It is a given that window shopping can be done by anyone, but sustainable window shopping has become a hobby of mine. I have started to drop a pin at each location of sustainable marketing. I turn window shopping into a probability game as I ask myself, "What are the chances that the next window display will use recycling, sustainability, or responsible production in their advertised display?".
It has gotten pretty frequent that I pass by a retail window that flaunts new commitment to sustainability. Both high fashion and non are subject to the growing pressure to produce in a socially and environmentally responsible manner which is now being reflected in consumer products and marketing campaigns. A consumer market is driven by consumer preference: the consumer has the power of the dollar to purchase or walk away from a brand. The power of all industry transformation in terms of sustainable production is overwhelmingly within the palm of us, ordinary people, just trying to keep up with the trends.
Today I walked by Longchamp which is a brand that produces fashionable bags and other consumer goods(shoes, scarves, etc) at a price point that I would say is affordable for some but highly out of reach for others. I walked by their Upper East Side location in Manhattan and I had to stop because their storefront was two recycling bins, large recycling bins, that you would see on the corner in suburban America. It wasn't the bag that made me stop and stare but it was the marketing of the bag. Who wouldn't pause and stare at a Upper East Side storefront with large "trash" bins in the window? A genius concept to catch the eye of the consumer, present the product, and leave a lasting impact about the intentions of the brand.
This is the power of the brand and the power of our consumer dollar coming together. Our dollar allows companies to have a budget that can support sustainable efforts. When we reward companies by purchasing sustainable goods, they must continue to do so. A corporate shift to sustainability is rarely reversed as it is a step in the wrong direction. When a brand publicly moves toward the direction of "do-better", it removes the option of using unethical processes, unsustainable materials, and most importantly pushes them to improve and keep improving on current efforts.
To check out Longchamp's Recycled Material Bags: