Insight Update

Why using plastic is de-valuing your brand and what consumers really want

It’s 2022, so why are brands still using plastic? That’s the question that Robert Lockyer, Founder and Chief Client Officer of luxury global packaging provider, Delta Global is asking, particularly to luxury fashion brands.

The needs and wants of consumers continue to change and we live in a world where sustainability is not just paramount to a longer, stronger future, but is something that consumers strive for – personally and professionally.

People are now making more conscious choices in and around the home, as well as when it comes to purchases and buying decisions.

In the last 12 months, approximately 75% of consumers have recycled or composted waste whilst 64% of consumers have limited just how much single-use plastic they use.

Robert said: “Data such as this is proof that consumers’ needs and wants are changing, and it’s down to brands and businesses to ensure that these are being met.

“If a consumer is actively avoiding using single-use plastic, but a brand is continuing to ship products using exactly that, then they’re not only going to lose customers, but they are simply de-valuing their brand.”

From reducing meat consumption and travel time to actively supporting brands with better ESG initiatives and ethical practices, consumers are continuing to prioritise sustainability.

But how is plastic de-valuing your brand?

Being a brand in today’s world consists of much more than providing a product or service.

Consumers are paying more and more attention to the ethics, morals and values of a brand and they are after much more than a simple commodity purchase.

Robert explains that the reputation of a brand comes down to more than just the quality of a product.

He said: “A brand could provide the very best service or the highest quality product, but if they aren’t ethical, sustainable or at least recognised as trying to be, then the quality recognised elsewhere becomes obsolete.

“Therefore, if a brand isn’t making those necessary changes to become more sustainable, or isn’t working towards a specific target, this is what it will become known for – irrespective of how popular or loved the products are.

“The entire brand perception and reputation changes, which can have a significant impact on business performance.”

Almost a quarter of UK adults would pay more for sustainable packaging and products, which Robert predicts will only increase over the course of the next 12 months and states that it is a testament to just how much the world is changing.

Brands that are leading the way

With plastic – and other non-recyclable or reusable materials – clearly de-valuing a brand, now is the time for brands to make a change, before they lose out to competitors.

Robert is quick to praise a number of businesses that have successfully implemented ESG and sustainability initiatives, including Matches Fashions, Burberry, Gucci, Sweaty Betty and Net-A-Porter.

Burberry has already prioritised eliminating plastic lamination from its packaging and has pledged to be climate positive by 2040. Meanwhile, by the end of this year, the brand has committed to cutting operational emissions by an impressive 95 per cent.

It isn’t just about packaging, though, as Gucci has promised to use 100% renewable energy by the end of 2022 as well as aiming to remove all single-use plastic for retail packaging in just three short years.

And much like Louis Vuitton, luxury brands are changing the way in which they house their products, using only FSC accredited materials.

Robert said: “The likes of Sweaty Betty and Net-A-Porter are changing their focus and are prioritising environmentally-friendly packaging that can be reused and is multifunctional – going far beyond the expectations of consumers.”

Meanwhile, Robert explains that a number of brands are not doing their bit and should speed up the process of becoming more sustainable.

“Gymshark, for example, have such a huge online presence and are dominating the athleisure industry, however in order to remain supreme, they must consider removing the likes of plastic mailing bags from deliveries.

“And if they don’t, they risk being left behind, losing valuable consumers and therefore, business.”

Sustainability is now much more than protecting the environment and world we live in – it is something that consumers actively seek when deciding which brands to support.

For more information on becoming a more sustainable brand, please visit:

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