Since the last episode of Blue Planet II was aired towards the end of 2017, many of us have been made aware of just how big the impact of plastic is having on our oceans. This awareness has resulted in consumer attitudes shifting from a throw-away society, to one that is far more focused on sustainability, longevity of products and preserving our planet for future generations.
Purchasing habits have been widely influenced, especially amongst Millennials who, research suggests, tend to believe that business should be a force for positive social impact. In many cases, consumers are choosing environmentally friendly options with the same motivation that causes consumers to buy a specific brand.
As expected, many brands have been quick to respond the huge amount of publicity around environmental issues by making commitments to plastic reduction and more environmentally friendly business practices. Earlier this year, Pret-A-Manger reduced the price of its coffee by 50p for people who bring their own cups, Adidas has sold more than one million shoes made from recycled ocean plastic, while McDonald’s, Unilever and Evian have all promised to overhaul packaging.
And it’s no surprise that brands are starting to utilise experiential as a way of raising awareness of environmental issues. Earlier this month, we saw environmentally friendly cleaning brand Ecover open up a pop-up venue dubbed “The Rubbish Café”, where consumers could pay for a meal with a piece of recyclable plastic. In a bid to encourage consumers to ‘re-think the value of rubbish’, guests dined on the cafe’s zero-waste vegan menu, while learning how to live clean. Fitting with the theme, the café was kitted out using stylish, upcycled décor, from chairs made from trolleys and unique objects that prove waste can be re-used and made into contemporary and functional pieces of furniture. By creating a memorable experience, this allows the consumer to emotionally connect to the good cause and as a result, associates the positive message to the brand.
With the help of Blue Planet II, It’s likely that as a generation of conscious consumers, we will see even more of an increase in demand for ethical and sustainable products and business practices. Whether it’s creating a great experience with positive social impact at the fore of the campaign, or underlying efforts of mass recycling or donating money to charity, it is great to see that so many brands are jumping on board in the hope for an ethical future!