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How Denim Brands Are Re-strategizing Earth Day Promotions During COVID-19

The ways sustainable denim brands plan to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 will be unique for more reasons than one.

Though jeans companies have celebrated the occasion in the past by launching new sustainable collections or by making a financial contribution to an environmental cause, with most of the world under quarantine as result of COVID-19, the milestone is even more poignant this year.

Every day has become Earth Day. Now more than ever, consumers are becoming aware of how their actions impact the world around them. And brand leaders say they’re no longer taking nature for granted.

“In times of crisis, everything that is important becomes clear,” said Adam Taubenfligel, Triarchy’s creative director and co-founder. The L.A-based denim brand, which uses Tencel/cotton blends across its line, has shifted its sustainability conversation to one of mindfulness—an activity that lends itself well to long periods of solitude, and inspires people to make more informed choices.

“Introducing a meditation practice or breath work will allow you to easily introduce moments of pause into your day-to-day life that will naturally allow you to make better, more sustainable decisions in everything you do,” he said.

To stay mindful and encourage the same in others, Triarchy is focusing less on promotions and more on conversations this Earth Day. The brand is profiling inspiring women who are making the world a better place. It will compile the content into its #realwomenrealdenim campaign, which will include zero paid advertising, but rather “just a mutual love for what we’re all doing on this Earth we love so much.”

Though it has established manufacturing processes that uses less water and chemicals, and produces less waste, L.A.-based women’s denim brand Ética is also focusing on methods of improvement.

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“We are taking this time to dive deeper into our supply chain and develop creative ways to reduce our impact even further,” said Michelle Marsh, Ética’s vice president of sales.

On the consumer end, the brand is doubling down on communication, as it “reminds us that we are all in this together,” she said. Ética’s latest Instagram posts point to its new mask and PPE production efforts, as well as alternative methods for enjoying the planet. It posted a photo of Yellowstone National Park and shared a link to The National Parks Service website, which is offering virtual tours of some of the world’s landmarks.

Marsh pointed out that consumers are growing more connected to the world and are “waking up” to the real value of sustainable clothing.

“We are hitting a long-overdue reset button, and hopefully, we can take this time to re-examine the choices we make with our purchases,” said Marsh. “I think this crisis is waking us up to the interconnected nature of our planet and its inhabitants, and that will inform better choices.”

New York City-based DL1961 is dedicating its resources to educating consumers on how to stay sustainable at home. For the entire month of April, its Instagram stories will be devoted to tips for responsible living and identifying areas of gratitude in isolation.

Despite the collective pause felt around the world, Zahra Ahmed, DL1961’s CEO, said the brand is always pushing its products to be more eco-conscious, and called out an ultra-sustainable rinse collection across women’s and children’s wear dropping in Fall/Winter 2020.

“This is a moment of reevaluation and transition for the industry,” Zahra said. “Since day one, DL1961 has been changing the way denim is made to lesson our impact on the planet for future generations. Sustainability is not a trend for us, as a vertically integrated company it is at the base of how we think about product and how we communicate ourselves to the customer.”