WHY ECO-MATERIALS SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR NEXT GWP OR PRIVATE LABEL COLLECTION
Sustainable fabrics have been on our radar for years. In fact, we are well known for our endless array of on-trend vegan leathers – popular less so for their eco-friendliness and more so as a cost-effective and often indiscernible alternative to leather. Though with the recent rise of the conscious consumer and the upswing of indie beauty brands, we have recently seen a spiked interest in vegan leathers and other sustainable materials for environmental reasons.
According to Brandi Leifso, CEO and Founder of Evio Beauty Group, Ltd., indie beauty brands are growing at a 20% rate compared to the stagnant 2% representing traditional brands. If you're wondering how to connect with this niche, there is no better place than at the bi-coastal Indie Beauty Expo (iBE), which our team attended this summer in New York City. There, we had the opportunity to connect with some incredibly talented innovators and get their take on how indie beauty brands are shaping the industry. As put by Jana Blankenship of Captain Blankenship, the playing field has been leveled, allowing "consumers to understand what is in their products and what they are exposing themselves to."
In the current and ever-expanding landscape of accessible information, consumers are demanding transparency about the origin and life cycle of the products they buy into. As stated by Vivienne Rudd, Mintel Director of Global Insight: "with the ever growing interest in pursuing more natural lifestyles, consumers will find themselves getting involved in the creation process to ensure their beauty and personal care products are more transparent." Here, at Verge Creative Group, we believe that this transparency should be covered authentically and end-to-end.
Though this is essential for companies with an eco-brand philosophy, it is also an opportunity for more traditional brands to appeal to a growing consumer base. Incorporating sustainable materials into your next GWP program or private label collection is one way to align with this continued environmental awareness and demand for guilt-free fashions. For this reason, "we are thrilled to offer our clients an unparalleled selection of eco-friendly and vegan materials," says Verge Creative Group CEO and Founder, Stephanie Cohen. "As consumer demand for eco-fashions swell, our clients' interest in sustainable fabrics will move beyond a trending interest."
Take, for instance, our recent work with the Mara Hoffman x Sephora limited-edition collaboration which made big waves this summer. A large focus of the creative development was to incorporate the use of eco-conscious and sustainable materials. We landed with a weighty organic canvas and a vibrant print method (Prop 65 compliant, of course!) worthy of Mara Hoffman’s signature tribal prints. It made us giddy to work on a collection that not only captured the distinct wanderlust that is Mara Hoffman but also a vision for eco-friendly beauty reinforced by Sephora's industry expertise.
As we continually hear our clients' imperatives to 'go green,' we are aware of how difficult it can be to navigate the various options and how these can be incorporated into a retail collection. To make it easier, we have broken down some eco-fabrics that can help make your next program a more sustainable option for consumers:
PU (Polyurethane) or Vegan Leather: a lightweight and versatile leather alternative that uses no animal products in the production, reduces waste, and consumes less energy.
Cork: an extracted tree bark that originates directly from nature, has very little processing, does not harm the tree, and is renewable.
Organic Cotton (canvas or other woven): a cotton that is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment including reduced pesticides and fertilizers in growth.
Bamboo: a textile that is grown with no need for pesticides and fertilizers, plus can grow back naturally at a rapid pace.
Linen: linen is one of the most biodegradable fabrics and uses 13 times less pesticides than potatoes.
Recycled Polyester: a polyester manufactured out of recycled plastic bottles or recycled polyester fabric.
As we continue to evolve our sourcing capabilities and expand our offerings in these categories, we maintain our unique method of hand-selecting only the most elevated and on-trend materials that will meet our clients' distinct needs. The demand for environmentally-friendly materials is sure to grow and when our clients turn to us we will be prepared with only the "best of" in eco-chic solutions.