Stella McCartney Fashion Brand’s Sustainability

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Executive Summary

The company chosen for this assessment is Stella McCartney, which focuses on the production of luxury contemporary clothing and accessories for a wide range of customers. The organization was established by Stella McCartney, a well-recognized designer who aims to fulfill her agenda by creating fashionable items using relevant sustainability practices (Groening, Sarkis, & Zhu, 2018). The fast fashion industry is often referred to as one of the most polluting businesses globally, as it currently employs materials hazardous to the environment. For instance, polyester, which is utilized in more than 60% of modern clothing, detrimentally damages the ocean and produces tremendous carbon emissions (Greenpeace, 2017). Given the impact of fast fashion on environmental issues, Stella McCartney supports the sustainability movement, implementing various approaches that minimize the influence of production on our planet.

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Stella McCartney: Target Consumers and Their Psychographic Profile

The Stella McCartney brand relies heavily on a specific target group, adopting the techniques necessary to adhere to their values. A key segment of the company’s audience comprises women aged 25 to 40, a millennial generation highly interested in luxurious clothing and accessories (Brewer, 2019). The importance of creating a sustainable high fashion brand is tremendously stressed by the enterprise, as it aims to combine the characteristics of an expensive and nature-caring glamour manufacturer (Campos Franco, Hussain, & McColl, 2019). Therefore, the ideal consumer of Stella McCartney is a young millennial woman who refers to the notions of environmental care and luxurious fashion when deciding on a clothing brand. According to these characteristics, Stella McCartney perfectly captures the behavioral patterns of young women sensitive to environmental issues and longing to express their fashion expertise. The brand occupies a perfect niche for such individuals, maintaining their sustainability and producing clothing that captures the most relevant trends.

Green Marketing: Product Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Given the brand’s choice of the target consumer, it is possible to create a theoretical persona that ideally complies with the company’s requirements. According to the current marketing strategy employed by Stella McCartney, it is possible to assume that a perfect individual client for the enterprise is a millennial woman upholding the concepts of responsible consumerism and product sustainability who purchases the designer’s clothing due to its environmentally-friendly production processes. The idea of preserving the natural state of the earth is especially valuable for this persona, which chooses the organizations that follow recent fashion trends while remaining ecologically aware (Groening et al., 2018). In this regard, Stella McCartney greatly adheres to consumer values, presenting a product that fulfills the requirements of sustainable production.

An essential part of the green marketing strategy is considering the materials and ingredients used to maintain the production of goods. A company must utilize natural and organic materials and supervise both local and international suppliers’ processes to ensure the sustainability of their merchandise (Groening et al., 2018). According to the recent reports by Stella McCartney, the brand is remarkably efficient in this area of marketing management, as it oversees its ecological impact and attempts to resolve the issues of pollution and mass production often attributed to the fashion industry (Stella McCartney, n.d.). The company implements the environmental profit and loss tool to measure its influence on natural resources and control the quality of raw materials, simultaneously accounting for other numerous hazardous practices (Stella McCartney, n.d.). For instance, the clothing created and produced by the corporation is evaluated based on its environmental impact, and the data gathered is further used to enhance the merchandise creation processes concerning environmental damage.

The Stella McCartney brand openly upholds the ecological initiatives, placing the ideas of sustainability and environmental responsibility as the core values of the company. By measuring and reporting the goals achieved, the enterprise fulfills the requirements of the green marketing product strategy (Hepner, Chandon, & Bakardzhieva, 2020). For example, the timeline of ecological accomplishments is available to the open public at the Stella McCartney website, and the organization’s attempts at improving the environmental condition of the planet are often discussed in social media (Stella McCartney, n.d.). Furthermore, the brand constantly produces influence reports and clearly discusses which materials are used for the clothing manufactured. Only vegetarian leather and recycled nylon and polyester are used in the clothing produced, which fully corroborates the green marketing strategy and fulfills the customers’ desire to purchase ecologically friendly materials.

Another significant contribution to the product sustainability approach is Stella McCartney’s interest in devising new fashion items that are highly environmentally friendly and less energy-consuming. The company attributes a tremendous amount of effort to create and produce fashion items that comply with the audience’s requirements for luxury wear, simultaneously implementing nature-preserving strategies. A recent trend suggested is the cruelty-free fur that adheres to the standards of sustainable fashion, biodegradability, and ethical use of animal resources (Yang, Han, & Lee, 2017). Furthermore, the brand acknowledges the harmful industrial output of the fashion industry, attempting to minimize its impact on the environmental state of the planet. It is reported that Stella McCartney aims to improve its use of hazardous tactics, minimizing the needed energy costs by introducing such measures as wind farms, renewable sourcing, and reduced resource consumption (Yang et al., 2017). Although there are still remarkable modifications to be achieved, such as enhanced recyclability and customer affordability, the overall agenda of environmentally friendly resource utilization appears to be fulfilled. Therefore, in its product marketing strategy, Stella McCartney implements excellent approaches which fully corroborate the established values and aid in preserving natural materials.

Green Marketing: Pricing an Environmentally Friendly Product

The subject of creating an affordable and beneficial price is an essential topic for the green marketing strategy. The Stella McCartney brand is fully engaged in providing ecologically safe merchandise to the followers of high fashion, establishing product costs that appeal to well endowed millennial women. As the company distinctly focuses on fairly young and environmentally savvy individuals, it aims to construct a pricing strategy that raises the value of the merchandise, incorporating it into the luxury niche, simultaneously advertising its sustainability. Therefore, although the brand’s prices are mostly similar to the competitors’ suggestions, they remain significantly above average fast fashion and clothing expenses. As the enterprise is positioned in the same market area as Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, it prompts a brand image of a costly and high-quality clothing enterprise.

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A significant element of the company’s pricing technique is the expensiveness of natural resources. In comparison, using non-ecological materials is much cheaper for the manufacturing processes, allowing the corporations to produce higher quantities at smaller prices. Although these practices induce greater carbon emissions and dangerous wastes, many fast fashion organizations rely on these production strategies (Niinimäki et al., 2020). Stella McCartney, on the other hand, is only utilizing non-hazardous and environmentally friendly materials, which remarkably increase the cost of merchandise creation due to their lower demand and manufacture expenses (Campos Franco et al., 2019). Based on these factors, the brand establishes elevated prices for the clothing compared to non-eco-friendly producers.

In general, the organization’s pricing is fully corroborated by its choice of the target consumer, as they cater to the well-endowed audience. Similar prices but different approach to environmental friendliness appears to be the key strategy for Stella McCartney, which heavily promotes its ecological contribution and the awareness regarding nature’s condition. This element compels the clients invested in preserving the earth’s resources two choose Stella McCartney over other competing brands (Hepner et al., 2020). Nevertheless, there is a noteworthy contradiction between the consumer niche targeted by the corporation. According to the released statements, the company is highly interested in providing ecologically friendly merchandise for millennial buyers promoting the environmental agenda (Teather, 2020). However, not all young individuals are capable of affording the corporations clothing, meaning that a significant change should be made in the pricing strategy. Currently, the majority of the audience aiming to maintain responsible consumerism perceives luxurious clothing as a contrast to the notion of environmental friendliness and is more in favor of cheaper sustainable materials (Schemken & Berghaus, 2018). Therefore, the combination of high fashion and responsibility, although beneficial from the financial standpoint, might compel the younger individuals from the targeted group to avoid the companies products.

A remarkable complication is evident in the company’s decision to combine the characteristics of young millennials and luxury-seeking individuals in the description of their ideal audience. In addition to the aforementioned contradiction between high fashion and ecological awareness, the concept of affordability might hinder the development of the green marketing strategy employed. Although some millennials are open to the notion of costly, environmentally cautious materials, the majority of the group are less loyal to corporations producing expensive clothing (Kapferer & Michaut-Denizeau, 2020). In this regard, as the company does not explicitly explain the decreased cost-effectiveness of renewable merchandise, many young customers retain the idea of overpricing and corporate influence, which deters them from purchasing clothing and accessories. Another complication pertains to the resources available to millennial consumers, which are clearly lowered in comparison with luxury-oriented buyers.

Green Marketing Communication Strategy Critique

The promotion strategy implemented by Stella McCartney explicitly relies on the notion of renewable manufacture responsible production, cultivating the idea of eco-friendliness in fashion. Multiple sources refer to the brand as one of the few companies that strictly follow the requirements of sustainability and employ various techniques to maintain that Image (Hepner et al., 2020; Yang et al., 2017). The basis of Stella McCartney’s customer communication campaign aims to convey the importance of producing sustainable merchandise, presenting the consumers with ecologically safe clothing that adheres to the latest trends. For instance, the brand frequently corroborates green initiatives and environmentally focused events, raising awareness regarding numerous natural issues, from deforestation to the threat of carbon emissions (Hepner et al., 2020). Overall, the company emphasizes the significance of sustainable produce, upholding the creation of eco-friendly materials as the core value of the corporation.

Another distinct trait of Stella McCartney’s marketing campaign is the support given to multiple manufacturers and fashion industry executives in search of better production solutions. The company fully endorses the use of ecological materials and renewable resources, often combining its efforts with other enterprises interested in preserving the environment. As such, several famous personas and supermodels act as advertisers of the brand’s message or even become partners with the organization in order to secure further advancements in the field of sustainability (Stella McCartney, n.d.). Furthermore, a significant asset of Stella McCartney’s promotion strategy is the collaboration with the United Nations International Trade Center’s Ethical Fashion Initiative, as well as the renowned animal protection group PETA (Hepner et al., 2020). Supporting such endeavors and often acting as a facilitator of some eco-friendly events remarkably enhances the customers’ perception of the brand, instilling an image of an action-oriented company invested in the planet’s preservation.

In order to fully encompass the advertising approaches available in the modern age, Stella McCartney endorses various promotion approaches which utilize social media resources. Exceptional attention is given to Internet-based sources, such as social networks and cause-related websites (Vehmas, Raudaskoski, Heikkilä, Harlin, & Mensonen, 2018). These platforms tend to gather large groups of target customers, who often share their perceptions and ideas, further promoting or diminishing the influence of certain brands. According to a recent study, the Stella McCartney company is a noteworthy exception from other enterprises claiming sustainability, as it has achieved substantial support from its luxury buyers (Hepner et al., 2020). A vast majority of individuals interested in purchasing fashionable and ecologically friendly items express their support of the firms’ activities, ranking the brand as the most sustainable.

There is a significant discrepancy between the companies that advertise their sustainable development goals (SDG) and those who choose to keep these objectives hidden from the general public. Example of Stella McCartney explicitly displays the effectiveness of exposing the SDGs and clearly stating their future endeavors, as consumers invested in luxurious purchasing often consider the sustainability of the brand and the environmentally friendly goals disclosed. These target groups emphasize the importance of clear and understandable ecological initiatives and are more loyal to the corporations that prioritize these activities (Pavione, Pezzetti, & Dall’Ava, 2016). Stella McCartney is well known for its passion for the preservation of natural resources, which, when advertised among luxury-oriented customers, perfectly endorses their commitment to the enterprise and increases their willingness to purchase more products.

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Nevertheless, a significant issue arises when the company chooses to cater to both millennial and luxury-interested audiences. According to recent research, these qualities do not perfectly coincide, as most millennials perceive the fashionable brands as opposing the idea of preserving the environment (Kapferer & Michaut-Denizeau, 2020). Therefore, if Stella McCartney indeed wishes to focus on younger individuals, significant changes should be made to the current marketing campaign, which advocates luxuriousness and sustainability simultaneously. The aspects of environmentally friendly production and ecological caution, although represented in the product descriptions, are less evident in the advertising strategies. These factors appear to be highly influential for the young customers’ decision-making, which relies on readily available information regarding the manufacturing processes (Rolling & Sadachar, 2018). The testaments accessible at the moment are perfect for the older fashion invested groups but are less applicable to the younger audiences.

Strategic Recommendations for Sustainability Improvements

Advertising Product Sustainability through Transparent Manufacturing Processes

A vital complication related to the choice of millennial, luxurious seeking, and the environmentally friendly audience is linked to the consumers’ awareness of the production practices. Although the brand openly disclaims its SDGs and discloses the resources used during manufacturing, the specific elements of such endeavors remain hidden from the public or available only after an extensive search. To increase the millennial clients’ understanding of the reduced cost-effectiveness which follows the production of ecologically safe materials, more attention should be given to the elevated expenses which the clothing companies suffer when choosing this area of distribution. Many young consumers might already be aware of the natural resources often used in such processes, but they may also underestimate the importance of demand and supply, misunderstanding the manufacturing complications (Rolling & Sadachar, 2018). Therefore, a product sustainability recommendation would be to clarify the specific actions and strategies implemented by the company when battling the consequences of decreased interest in ecologically friendly materials.

Pricing Reconsideration

The contradiction between the affordability of the chosen audience and the elevated expenses connected to producing sustainable clothing should also be addressed. Thus, the advice would be to consider pricing reallocation, for instance, creating a line of clothing specifically for individuals interested in the brand but unable to afford the merchandise. Additionally, it could be advantageous to corroborate with a popular yet more cost-effective company, sponsoring a collection that is environmentally friendly and less expensive at the same time. Such collaboration could greatly enhance the production processes of the second corporation, prompting its transition to more ecological manufacturing, and could also improve the image positivity of Stella McCartney.

Devising a Distinct Communications Approach for the Millennial Audience

Finally, a pertinent recommendation refers to the area of promotion and concerns the unique traits of the younger customer groups. The contradiction between the luxuriousness and sustainability perceived by millennial consumers is essential to address, is it greatly hinders the communication between the Stella McCartney brand and this audience. A piece of possible advice is to create a more prominent advertisement scheme which acknowledges the impression and attempt to diminish or eliminate its effects. Of remarkable advantage would be an informative campaign that explores the companies endeavors in the area of environmental preparation and demonstrates that it is entirely possible to combine the elements discussed.

References

Brewer, M. K. (2019). Slow fashion in a fast-fashion world: Promoting sustainability and responsibility. Laws, 8(4), 24. Web.

Campos Franco, J., Hussain, D., & McColl, R. (2019). Luxury fashion and sustainability: Looking good together. Journal of Business Strategy, 41(4), 55–61. Web.

Greenpeace. (2017). Fast fashion, fatal fibres. Web.

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Groening, C., Sarkis, J., & Zhu, Q. (2018). Green marketing consumer-level theory review: A compendium of applied theories and further research directions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172, 1848–1866. Web.

Hepner, J., Chandon, J.-L., & Bakardzhieva, D. (2020). Competitive advantage from marketing the SDGs: A luxury perspective. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 39(2), 284–299. Web.

Kapferer, J.-N., & Michaut-Denizeau, A. (2020). Are millennials really more sensitive to sustainable luxury? A cross-generational international comparison of sustainability consciousness when buying luxury. Journal of Brand Management, 27(1), 35–47. Web.

Pavione E., Pezzetti, R., & Dall’Ava, M. (2016). Emerging competitive strategies in the global luxury industry in the perspective of sustainable development: The case of Kering Group. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 4(2), 241–261.

Stella McCartney. (n.d.). Measuring our impact. Web.

Niinimäki, K., Peters, G., Dahlbo, H., Perry, P., Rissanen, T., & Gwilt, A. (2020). The environmental price of fast fashion. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, 1(4), 189–200. Web.

Rolling, V., & Sadachar, A. (2018). Are sustainable luxury goods a paradox for millennials? Social Responsibility Journal, 14(4), 802–815. Web.

Schemken, M., & Berghaus, B. (2018). The relevance of sustainability in luxury from the millennials’ point of view. In M. A. Gardetti & S. S. Muthu (Eds.), Sustainable luxury, entrepreneurship, and innovation (pp. 103–130). Springer.

Teather, C. (2020). Stella McCartney tells GLAMOUR UK why she finds the next generation so inspiring as she launches epic debut genderless collection. Glamour UK. Web.

Vehmas, K., Raudaskoski, A., Heikkilä, P., Harlin, A., & Mensonen, A. (2018). Consumer attitudes and communication in a circular fashion. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 22(3), 286–300. Web.

Yang, Y., Han, H., & Lee, P. K. C. (2017). An exploratory study of the mechanism of sustainable value creation in the luxury fashion industry. Sustainability, 9(4), 483. Web.

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BusinessEssay. (2022, September 16). Stella McCartney Fashion Brand's Sustainability. Retrieved from https://business-essay.com/stella-mccartney-fashion-brands-sustainability/

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BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Stella McCartney Fashion Brand's Sustainability'. 16 September.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Stella McCartney Fashion Brand's Sustainability." September 16, 2022. https://business-essay.com/stella-mccartney-fashion-brands-sustainability/.

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BusinessEssay. "Stella McCartney Fashion Brand's Sustainability." September 16, 2022. https://business-essay.com/stella-mccartney-fashion-brands-sustainability/.