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Edited: Earth Day Marketing Shifts to a Year-Round Calendar

Earth Day and Earth Month may have ended but recent launches like Lucky Brand’s elevated upcycled collection and Grenson’s denim-scrap boots highlight how fashion’s sustainable journey is far from over.

This “Earth Day is every day” mentality filtered across Earth Day marketing, too.

In an Earth Day 2022 recap, retail analytics firm Edited found that Earth Day mentions in brands’ email marketing in April dropped 22 percent year-over-year, while mentions of sustainability in emails from January to April 2022 increased 6 percent year-over-year. The decline signals how retailers are “rethinking their strategies to avoid being viewed as performative” and are making “efforts to be transparent by sharing sustainability goals and milestones,” Edited stated.

The occasion, however, is still a key period for companies to bring awareness to their sustainable initiatives.

Edited reported that early Earth Day mentions included Levi’s promoting its Vintage Project Survival collection inspired by the grassroots movement that led to the first Earth Day in 1970 on Feb. 17, but Earth Day on April 22 remained the most popular day for communication.

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“Happy Earth Day” and “Celebrate Earth Day” were the most popular email subject lines. Goals and brand updates are among the common themes in company’s communications about sustainability. Stories on investing in the planet, shopping secondhand and defining sustainability are others.

Edited noted that secondhand clothing saw “a big push this year” from companies like Levi’s, which launched its resale program in 2020. Leading up to Earth Day 2022, Pacsun and Wrangler also introduced secondhand concepts.

It was also a prime time for companies to highlight responsibly made products. “Retailers also leveraged emails to communicate planet-friendly products and used subject lines to promote sustainable categories,” Edited said, noting that companies like Everlane, Selfridges and Kohl’s offered curated edits of sustainable products.

Earth Day falls on a Sunday in 2023, which could bump up marketing efforts. “Above all, retailers need to constantly build on their sustainability efforts and use Earth Day 2023 to share progress instead of waiting for the event to do good for one day,” Edited stated.