German fashion brand Armedangels has taken a bold new step in its latest marketing campaign. The Cologne-based label wants to be "radically honest" in its communications by bluntly stating: “Sustainable products don't exist.”
With the new marketing campaign the brand highlights that every newly produced product leaves an ecological footprint and pollutes the environment, no matter how conscious and resource-saving the production of the garment is.
“Consuming less and going for higher quality is the best thing that can be done for the environment,” said Katya Kruk, impact and innovation director at Armedangels, in a German press release.
Armedangels calls the strategies of fashion companies to entice people to buy with a more sustainable clothing offer “a tall tale”. The label itself wants to refrain from “misleading claims” and communicate as transparently and precisely as possible on its channels.
It now wants to sensitise its clientele to rethinking their consumer behaviour. As a concrete measure, returns from the online shop will be subject to a charge to refrain from frivolous returns which often go hand in hand with online shopping and fast-fashion.
Linking the introduction of return costs with a call for conscious consumption is a smart move, though it remains to be seen how the strategy will be implemented on its channels, because the label does not call on people to buy only second-hand instead of its own products - or preferably nothing at all.
The new campaign is not yet visible on the brand’s Instagram channel. The label continues to promote pieces from its latest collection with each new post - just like any other fashion brand.
‘Don't Buy This Jacket’
Armedangels' new campaign is reminiscent of an even more radical campaign by outdoor label Patagonia. On Black Friday in 2011, it urged its customers to “not buy this jacket” with an advertisement in the New York Times. Considered a trend setter in the sustainable fashion space, Patagonia wanted to draw attention to the problem of excessive consumption.
At that time, too, the question arose as to how far the statement could be understood as hypocritical, as despite the campaign, the company’s goal is inevitably to continue to grow and sell more products. But Patagonia countered at the time that it would be even more hypocritical to claim it cared for the environment without drawing attention to the problem of overconsumption.
This article was first published on FashionUnited.DE before being translated and edited to English