Eco-friendly fabrics were a key trend spotted at the London Textile Fair. So is 2018 the year where sustainable sourcing goes mainstream? For people managing marketing budgets, is sustainable becoming an elitist code word for 'more expensive?'
The Buyers at the Textile Fair were seeing higher price tags on eco-fabrics. Food retailers are responding to initiatives like Veganuary with a greater provision of Vegan choices which is great. Yet the costs of these choices are higher for the consumer. M&S's famous £2.50 slice of Cauliflower branded as a 'Cauliflower Steak' being a famously disappointing example, gift wrapped in yet more plastic.
Food retailers say the higher cost of Vegan foods reflect higher product development costs and ironically greater food processing in some instances. Turning a mushroom into a sausage might not excite my palate or my wallet, and makes me wonder why we don't just eat the mushroom instead. Does sustainability need to be more expensive?
When it comes to running B2B events, already the most expensive line item in a marketing budget, will people be prepared to pay significantly more for a sustainable event? Unless it is mandated by a corporation, my crystal ball says no, not this year folks. UK PLC is still open for business, but operating with an element of Economic uncertainty. Everyone is looking to get better value not worse.
So I want to understand if being environmentally responsible has to be more expensive, or could we just make better choices? Could we use less, throw away less? Do we need the name of the event on every pull up banner, consigning it to landfill? Could pressing pause on consumption help us make budgets go further while also being more sustainable? No successful B2B marketer can afford to have Gatsby like instincts, so as a group we are ethically aligned to try and have an impact here.
In our working lives this year, we at JD are committing to looking at better ways to reduce the environmental footprint of the events we work on wherever possible. We are going to be asking more questions about the shelf life of the materials we use. And if some decisions are more costly, then we might need to be even more creative. This is an area none of us should shy away from. Have you seen any cool eco-event initiatives? If so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For us, there are three key elements for spring 19: ‘shiny’ laminated technical fabrics; eco-friendly materials; and fabrics with a crinkle [texture]. Many big retailers are increasing their interest in eco-friendly ranges, which has [admittedly] added to costs, since it takes a lot of time to research and requires more certifications.”