We have the ability to find out anything at our fingertips. It’s 2022, and access to information has never been easier than it is now with the internet and technology as a whole. It is with this newfound platform that you, the consumer, have been more critical of businesses than ever before. This is especially prevalent within the fashion industry and consumer products as a whole. The fashion industry has come under scrutiny for its harmful practices and detrimental effects to the environment. According to an article published by Elsevier, an information and analytics company, about the fashion industry and sustainability, “The business models of enterprises in the global fashion industry are very harmful to the environment. High water usage, pollution from chemical treatments used in dyeing and preparation and the disposal of large amounts of unsold stock through incineration or landfill deposits make clothing one of the highest impact industries on the planet.” It is therefore a no brainer that consumers like you are turning away from companies that exploit bad practices for profitability. At Nice as Heck, we recognize our position as a new generation brand and want to pave the way for better practices within the industry.
It is not the company’s that force change upon the industry, but rather the consumer. Your habits and preferences impact what companies make and sell, because they are trying to cater to your needs. It is these changing preferences that are reshaping the fashion industry as a whole towards better practices and purpose-driven business models. According to a report from BCG, a leading consulting firm, about consumer sentiments within the fashion industry, you are putting more pressure on companies to act better. It was reported in 2019 that 38% of consumers have switched from a preferred brand to a sustainable/responsible brand. This has especially been accelerated with the COVID pandemic as people are worried about their spending habits and are prioritizing value. Coming out of this pandemic, these shifts in preferences will become permanent and will further reinforce the need for companies to adapt more purposeful business practices. With our values rooted in sustainability and our love for the natural world, it was a no brainer that we at Nice as Heck wanted to take steps towards being more impactful. When the company was first created, we immediately included sustainability in our discussions, and have incorporated new practices along the way.
What many small businesses believe is that they need to have lots of resources to adopt sustainable practices within their business. Yet, it's many of these well-established brands that fail to incorporate sustainability at a large scale. This is why we believe we have a unique position to shape the industry for the future and show how smaller companies can still be sustainable. We as a company have a long way to go in terms of achieving our sustainability goals for Nice as Heck, but we are taking the initiative now to set the foundation for future plans. One campaign we initially took on was no plastic packaging for all of our products. This really manifested itself in our packaging design. First, we created biodegradable apparel bags instead of the traditional plastic apparel bags. These were produced 100% using plants and we worked directly with our manufacturer to ensure quality and certification. In addition, we also wanted to focus on the actual shipping journey. We partnered with the company EcoEnclose and purchased recycled paper mailers and cardboard boxes to send out all the orders in. By removing plastic from packaging, we have minimized our impact as a brand. You can learn more about our practices here. Beyond our packaging efforts, we are also members of 1% for the Planet. This organization, founded by one of our role models and founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chounaird, allows us to give back to the resources that help to create our product. From volunteering opportunities, to donations of 1% of profits each year, the organization directly connects us with non-profits who are restoring these resources. We have also taken initiatives to donate to non-profit organizations, such as One Tree Planted. For every order placed online, we plant a tree through our partnership. We also have begun introducing fabrics such as hemp and organic cotton to lessen the impact of our production. In addition, we are working with our manufacturers to use deadstock fabric from our own production programs. We are currently developing tote bags using leftover canvas from our Kickback Jackets. All these initiatives, although small in scale for the size of our business, are allowing us to develop these systems now and setting us up for the future.
Our generation has a greater love and appreciation for nature than ever before, and we are becoming the protectors of our environment. We at Nice as Heck understand this power and have lofty goals for our business. Transparency is key, and we know that. A lot of our production right now is not inherently sustainable, and we don’t want this to last for long. Our goals for the future include expanding into sustainable production and ultimately opening our own net-neutral manufacturing facility. Although far out, we know this is where we want to be and is something that is achievable. It is through your support that is allowing us to pursue this trajectory, and our collective appreciation for mother nature that makes us gravitate toward this vision. It's like the old boy scout motto goes, “always leave the place cleaner than you found it”, and that's our goal for the fashion industry.
Planet, 1% for the. 1% For the Planet - Homepage, www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/.
Pal, Rudrajeet, and Jonathan Gander. “Modelling Environmental Value: An Examination of Sustainable Business Models within the Fashion Industry.” Journal of Cleaner Production, Elsevier, 19 Feb. 2018, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652618303056.
Willersdorf, Sarah. “The Future of Success in Fashion Lies in Sustainability | BCG.” YouTube, YouTube, 3 Feb. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulY6zFI_5T4.