Indigenous Designs Downplays Sustainability To Sell Retailers

by | Jul 18, 2007

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Indigenous Designs’ clothing is made from all-natural, sustainable materials. It adheres to strict fair-trade manufacturing practices overseas, runs its U.S. corporate office on solar power and encourages employees to bike to work. But the apparel maker talks up fashion, design, and price – mentioning the organic and fair-trade points only as an extra bonus – when pitching retailers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

This marketing strategy has helped the company survive and move into mainstream retail, while many of its green peers have languished in ecofriendly niches or gone out of business altogether.

To promote its own green stripes enough to stand out without abandoning it’s product-first marketing strategy, Indigenous Designs is crafting new clothing hang tags that will quantify exactly what percentage of the price a consumer is paying goes to the artisan in Peru, how much goes to certifying cotton is organic, etc. It’s also creating ecoshop clothing displays for certain stores where “green” consumers are most likely to shop, like Whole Foods, while putting less obvious signage in more mainstream stores like Dillard’s.

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