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Is it time for Quiet Activism?


This week, a thought-provoking article from the Business of Fashion caught our attention. It suggests consumers might be growing tired of the abrasive rhetoric some ‘challenger’ brands use to communicate sustainability. Think Oatly, or Brewdog. Brands that have made a name for themselves by boasting about their virtues in a preachy, rebellious manner.


This led us to ponder: are we entering an age of activism fatigue?


Whilst gobby activism and pointing fingers has undeniably driven brand differentiation and sparked significant policy changes, it’s not the only path forward. We’ve also got to question its authenticity and uniqueness especially as premium and luxury fashion companies like Asket and Vestiaire Collective start adopting it.


Consumers need to make informed choices, but do we need to ram it down their throats? Who is that really serving?


Firstly, people don’t want to feel guilty about the milk they choose to pour over their cereal in the morning. Secondly, if they’re watching the morning news at the time, demonizing big dairy will probably fall flat. Finally, they probably already know it’s bad anyway!


Whether it’s sustainability or anything else, brands need to focus on what makes them great, rather than why others fall short. That’s what really drives behaviour change and consumer adoption. Anything else is just lazy.


When it comes to fashion companies, maybe they should take a leaf out of their own book. For an industry currently banging on about Quiet Luxury (the art of dressing expensively but subtly – IYKYK) we’re not seeing enough examples of Quiet Activism. Let’s see more brands getting on with it – not shouting about others not doing it.


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