How to Talk About Sustainability Without Turning It Into the S-Word

Sourcing Journal

For brands and retailers that are still feeling their way around sustainability, communicating a greener ethos to their customers can feel like a double-edged sword.

“They’re scared to come out of the shadows and say, ‘We’re doing this,’” said Amber Valletta, a model, entrepreneur and activist who spoke at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit this past May. “Because if they’re not doing enough, they’re afraid that they’re going to get some sort of backlash.”

Certainly the attendees of the annual pow-wow needed no convincing of sustainability’s merits; they were there for a reason after all. But what about people outside the room? How, exactly, should companies present sustainability—sometimes disparagingly known as the S-word—as part of their new, enlightened approach to doing business?

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