In 2019, brands reinforced their commitments to tackling the climate crisis. Eurobest winners moved beyond awareness-building, with work like Creative eCommerce and Innovation Grand Prix-winner ‘Do Black - The Carbon Limit Credit Card’ empowering consumers to stay accountable for their environmental impact. And Digital Craft Grand Prix ‘AdDress the Future’, which managed to solve sustainability issues in the fashion industry's products and manufacturing processes.
Co-founder of 23Rios Craft Beer 2019 Outdoor and Direct Jury President
Since then, we’ve had a global pandemic to contend with. So, what are brands focusing on when it comes to sustainability? And what can we expect from European creativity in 2020, as a result? We hear from 2019’s Outdoor and Direct Eurobest Jury President, Chacho Puebla who, as it turns out, quit his job as CCO of LOLA/MullenLowe this year to focus on helping brands transition to a more sustainable approach to doing business.
Insight for the future
Environmentalism & Social Inequalities
Increasingly, brands are recognising the intersection between sustainability and other societal issues: environmentalism and racial inequality, for example, are inextricably linked (WGSN, Sustainability Bulletin: July 2020).
When it comes to creative ideas, Chacho explains: “The first thing I learnt is that it’s a multidimensional issue. Carbon emissions can be connected with lack of education, with gender income inequality... with lots of the things we’re doing wrong as a society. Once I’d realised this, I started coming across ideas for reducing CO2 that weren’t, necessarily, focused around bicycles or trees.
"The good news is that I see more people joining the cause. Once you're in, you realise that the whole movement is bigger and deeper that you ever thought in the first place. I believe we will see an evolution in the way we communicate on this issue."
Digital Alternatives & Tech-fueled Sustainability
‘AdDress the Future’ from Virtue Copenhagen, as an example from Eurobest 2019, created the world's first digital fashion collection with 0% negative environmental impact. Described by last year's Digital, Digital Craft and Mobile Jury President Fura Johannesdottir as work that “could potentially redefine the industry it sits within”, it turned out to be a precursor to the world's first-ever digital Fashion Weeks in 2020. The shift to a almost entirely digital-first world brought on by the pandemic has opened up opportunities. Brands can now consider how to bring people valuable experiences, without the need to create environmentally-costly physical products.
Transforming Supply Chains & Brand Footprints
What's more, brands are now looking for ways to reuse or ‘upcycle’ materials to reduce environmental impact in response to consumer needs as we heard in another recent Sustainability Bulletin from consumer trend forecasting authority, WGSN. Chacho predicts that we’ll continue to see work transforming supply chains and business models. “We will see more brands moving into Circular Economy projects that are easily scalable. We will see more brands understanding how to build assets to reduce their carbon and plastic footprint...I see a bright future, but we need to make it happen.”