Western & English Today

SOURCE 19

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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In2Green Sustainability drives the high-end equestrian brand In2Green, a 2006 initiative that collaborates with local Brooklyn artists on artisanal, nature-inspired organic blankets. A strict missive to manufacture in the United States means the brand has a reduced carbon footprint (no overseas shipping and production) and fuels American job creation. Products are small-batch, handcra ed, and sometimes created on-demand. e fi erce idealist behind these eff orts, co-founder Lori Slater, says sustainability is a luxury that her horse-riding shop- pers can aff ord. "It represents living outside in this idyllic lifestyle — having these majestic creatures around you — so it's really aspirational." e no-cut-corners production value and responsibly sourced cra smanship heighten Slater's brand equity and deepen the desirability of the lifestyle she sells. in2green.com Justin Brands Even a megalithic Western institution encompassing fi ve iconic lines can be wrought into a carefully curated refl ection of one founder's core beliefs. John Justin's two signature programs, the Justin Sports Medicine Team and the Just Cowboys Crisis Fund, are the proof. e former outfi ts trailers with a volunteer network of surgeons and physical trainers who travel to give free medical care at more than 100 rodeos every year and act as fi rst responders when a cowboy gets hurt. e latter supports injured rodeo cowboys while they are unable to compete. "In rodeo, there's no salary, so you don't get paid unless you're competing and winning," says marketing manager Tassie Munroe. "I think that this is one thing that separates Justin: We quietly support. e teams are great advocates for the brand, but that's not why we do it. We do it to support the industry that is our core constituency." justinbrands.com Wrangler Zero-waste distribution facilities in the United States, upcycling nitrogen-rich factory waste to reforest in Mexico, and 6,700 community service hours in one year. Water-use reduction, renewable-energy invest- ment, and chemical restrictions. at's the tip of the iceberg of what sustainability means at Wrangler, an industry leader that's ditched petroleum-based synthetic indigo dye for natural indigo plants in new col- lections and thrown their considerable weight behind innovations in the industries they rely on, including farming practices and soil health. It all boils down to two things: doing a good job and helping out, two values their website says are "central to the American spirit and to all of us at Wrangler." wrangler.com Durango Boots One pink boot has made a footprint of $257,000 in donations to breast cancer research. e Pink Ribbon Lady Rebel, now in its sixth year, speaks to women close to its cause and allows them to stand for its suf- ferers and survivors, as well as share their stories with the bootmaker. " at pink ribbon and the DNA of the brand, they gravitate towards it," says marketing manager Erin DeLong. She adds that the Lady Rebel boot is consistently one of their top fi ve sellers. " at tells me this is going above and beyond. Our retailers are buying into this concept, they want to reach those folks as well. It's something that catches your attention on the shelf." durangoboots.com Will Leather Goods Will Leather Goods looks like a blue-banded hat worn by a smoking Jeff Bridges in a GQ profi le; a custom leather bicycle; a signature collection based on Disney's Lone Ranger; a trend-setting man purse. It also looks like a ticker on the website's homepage that tracks the number of backpacks donated to kids through their new "Give Will" initiative, which pledges 2 percent of every single purchase to the cause. (At press time the number is at about 9,214 of their six-year 100,000-backpacks goal.) Buyers get to know exactly how much of their purchase goes to the kids — and get the emotional reward of seeing the ticker move up one when they click "buy." willleathergoods.com Waxing Kara Waxing Kara's products look so good you could eat them. And you probably could. Apiarist Kara Brook, bedecked in wide-brimmed hat and knee-high Hunter boots, makes natural bath and beauty products with honey, ever mindful of the crucial role bees play in the world's ecosystem. Brook's message of health, beauty, healing, and the symbiosis of nature implores shoppers to welcome her products into their homes. "Saving the bees" is central to the company — which preserves indigenous wildfl ower ecosystems for its hives — and to the feel-good shopping experience for consumers. e elevated aesthetic, back-to-basics appeal, and on-point messaging has garnered attention from prominent media outlets and 250 retailers, including Anthropologie, who want a taste of the magic (and the honey lollipops). waxingkara.com By the Numbers " e stakes have gotten a lot higher. Companies must now share not only what they stand for, but what they stand up for." — Cone Communications 78% of consumers want companies to address important social justice issues 87% will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about 76% will refuse to purchase a company's products or services upon learning it supported an issue contrary to their beliefs 80% expect businesses to continue improving their corporate social responsibility efforts Source: 2017 Cone Communications study 40 Western & English Today

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