This piece in MediaPost provides an interesting analysis of the types of green personas in the teen fashion market, but they seem fairly universal:
In fact, Iconoculture’s research has turned up four distinct shopping types. “We call the first type the Living Green consumer, who has embraced the whole concept of the environmental lifestyle and is driven by dedication, purity and awareness,” says Casasus. “She is the most likely to be eating organic foods. She’s finding new ways to use her old clothes, shopping vintage and thrift shops, and buying clothes made of recycled fabrics.”
Second, there is the core fashionista, “who is looking to build up the green in her fashion portfolio,” she says. While this shopper wouldn’t be caught dead in a hemp dress or tire-tread sandals, “she is rethinking and redefining her sense of style and eco-chic. She sees herself in a power position, and isn’t a slave to any trend. She’s picking and choosing, looking to make small modifications.”
Third, Iconoculture has identified a group called Walking Green consumers, “driven by wanting to belong to a greater community. These are trend followers.”
And finally, she says, there is the Spending Green profile, the shopper who buys green clothes because “that sense of exclusivity and entitlement are important to her. She embraced green when it was still very much a luxury category, and she intends to keep it that way. For her, buying green connotes luxury, not any kind of sacrifice.”
There’s certainly more than one way to get there. Marketers need to be aware that we’re all not motivated in the same way, which is why celebrities can be quite effective in spreading awareness and making green cool. It’s essential, though, to be aware that sustainability cannot pass like a fashion trend. It has to become a staple, something that never goes out of style.
One organization that has the right approach and brand is Global Cool.org.
The Global Cool Foundation, a UK registered charity, was founded in the summer of 2006 by a group of scientists and business leaders to inspire the individual to save a planet through taking individual action in reducing their carbon footprint.
The Global Cool campaign has been endorsed by a diverse range of individuals including Hollywood stars Sienna Miller, Josh Hartnett and Heather Graham, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, HRH Prince Charles, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Alongside its celebrity following, Global Cool also enjoys strong corporate support. In September 2007, Global Cool teamed up with Vodafone UK on a mobile phone recycling campaign to support SolarAid, an innovative charity that harnesses solar power to deliver clean, affordable energy to those who need it most in Africa.
The brand is an excellent double entendre, and their use of celebs connects across age groups and demographics. Which has also attracted excellent corporate partners. The Brit-driven, tongue-in-cheek style is also refreshing when compared to much of the doom-and-gloom tone taken by so many other groups, specifically those in the US. Then again, we don’t yet have the backing of government, so there isn’t much to be lighthearted about.
Global Cool appears to have spun off a for-profit counterpart in coolaworld. This is the basic (and effective, we believe) model of directing our consumerism toward doing good i.e. spend money, consume, and save the planet.
Would Global Cool benefit from adding a social network? We think they have the right platform and pieces of the puzzle, especially if they can get the celebs engaged.