INTERVIEW Cecile Scheele – Goodbrandz
There’s a growing awareness among consumers when it comes to sustainable fashion: they start to understand the actual impact of it. But how do we get to the next step, where people actually start buying it?
For sustainable items to be bought, visibility is at the steering wheel to direct consumer behavior. We should start normalizing sustainability and stop putting it in a separate corner. Sustainable fashion shouldn’t create a ‘wow’ effect. That’s why Goodbrandz aims at visibility in renowned fashion stores. In 2011, Cecile Scheele initiated and founded Goodbrandz, with the aim to start a sustainable fashion movement. We talked to Cecile to find out how to do it.
A new zero point
Sustainability is the way to go and that’s why your shirt or jeans should be produced with care. Goodbrandz therefore represents and promotes environmentally friendly and ethical fashion brands, by creating visibility for it in renowned fashion stores. Making it mainstream is the underlying goal: cause that’s where sustainability should be moving to.
Currently, about 15 sustainable fashion brands are associated to Goodbrandz. The agency is doing well in pursuing its goals, but the demand for representing these brands is high. “That’s why I started the Soul Salon, to gain even more visibility and create a platform to represent these sustainable brands. Most of them are small niche labels, that are young enthusiasts”. The main drive to start such brands is the intrinsic motivation to do something good. However, the small brands are less familiar with the roads towards retail and that’s where the Soul Salon comes in. “This event serves as a platform where retailers can gain inspiration. This is something that’s really needed”.
The small niche labels are less familiar with the roads towards retail. At the Soul Salon, retailers can gain inspiration on how to pave the road towards sustainability more and more.
Create commerce out of it
The fashion sector is upside down currently. Mainly because of sustainability issues. “Every innovation can be linked to making the production process more sustainable. But this movement towards sustainable fashion is going too slow”. According to Cecile, the different links are having a hard time to connect. Reasons for this are too little knowledge and information at the demand side. The consumer needs to be informed and that’s how we could define potential next steps. “In a few years, we cannot get around sustainability. Fashion brands cannot exist without thinking about a topic like this”. That’s how sustainability will be integrated into policy decisions. It should. Production methods that are not fair for the world or the people within it, should be past times. Even though it’s not going fast, we will get there.
An important issue is the balance between sustainability and commercial. How can we involve the consumer in the right way? It is important for brands to create a true experience. The true or sincere story behind slow fashion brands can be beautiful input for storytelling.
Put your story to use and create a unique selling point out of it.
When we believe Goodbrandz, we’re facing an era in which there’s room for small niche brands that were in ‘survival modus’ in the past few years.
Now it’s time for them to show who they are and what they offer. And put this at the heart of your branding. Be consistent and go for it.
Show the world how exceptional, beautiful and qualitatively good you are. That’s what sustainability can aim for and how it can distinguish itself – among all other brands, however, represented in the big, mainstream stores.
I only believe in sustainable successes when there’s a commercial business model linked to it. Throughout the whole chain.