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Brands promoting sustainability have a higher chance of stealing potential customers’ hearts and converting them into regular clients. As demand for these eco-friendly products increases, so do brand efforts. 

Popular brands are increasing their efforts to adopt sustainable strategies to make their customers happy and protect the planet. One commonly used tool for this purpose is sustainable brand storytelling.


Highlighting Eco-Friendly Practices and Sustainability Initiatives Through Storytelling

Sustainable brand storytelling is a tool used to share stories that promote eco-friendly business operations and inspire people to take action to protect the environment.

If we could highlight three main steps of this process, that would be creating, maintaining, and projecting a brand identity that offers sustainability benefits to two important components: customers and the planet.

Fortunately, grabbing people’s attention is now easier than ever, as they are becoming increasingly aware of environmental damage and what could be done differently. This inspires brands to work more towards fulfilling customers’ demand for eco-friendly products and services.


Why is Sustainable Branding Important

People are constantly finding new ways to address environmental issues. As a response, eco-friendly brands are also trying to find proper solutions by putting the planet’s needs ahead of profits.

A recent study has shown consumers state that, on average, they are willing to spend 9.7% more for goods that are sustainably produced or sourced.

Going green benefits not just the planet but also businesses.

It’s safe to say that businesses implementing more eco-friendly practices have a higher chance of building a more attractive brand. Also, on another note, some businesses can benefit from potential tax breaks or grants for their green practices.

A win-win situation for both the business and the potential customers.


5 Important Elements Effective Sustainable Storytelling Must Have

After analyzing a few sustainable brand strategies, here are five elements that make a brand stand out as sustainable.


1. Authenticity

Authenticity is super important in storytelling. In fact, we couldn’t imagine a world where this wouldn’t be applicable. Brands must represent their stories and messages in a genuine way in order to ‘win the hearts of the audience.’ Greenwashing, or false claims about sustainability, can seriously damage credibility and trust.


2. Transparency

Sharing both successes and challenges in sustainability is the secret of building trust. Brands shouldn’t sugar-coat their stories or represent a different reality from what it is. Consumers appreciate brands that are honest about their journey, including setbacks and areas for improvement.


3. Emotional Engagement

It is no news that stories that evoke emotions resonate deeply with audiences. After all, people love connecting with brands that ‘make them feel something.’ Connecting sustainability initiatives to human experiences can be the brand’s go-to way of creating interesting narratives.


4. Relatability

Making the story relatable to the audience’s life and values contributes to creating personal connections. It’s important to remember that people love to be heard and always look for solutions to their problems. A good strategy brands can apply is, for example, sharing everyday actions consumers can take to contribute to sustainability. This could inspire them to make more environmentally conscious choices in their daily lives.


5. Impact

Real-life examples make a difference in storytelling. Demonstrating the impact of a brand’s eco-friendly practices helps to substantiate its claims. This can include, for example, data on reduced carbon footprints, conservation efforts, and community benefits.


10 Examples of Brands Succeding in Sustainable Storytelling

We’ve compiled a list of the best brand examples that have implemented sustainable storytelling strategies. Here are the top winners:


1. The Body Shop

A very famous campaign from the Body Shop is “Forever Against Animal Testing,” launched in 2017. This great example shows how a brand used powerful visuals and personal stories to inspire consumers to make a difference in animals’ lives. The brand’s mission was to engage 8 million people to sign a petition to accomplish a ban worldwide. The outcome was very successful, as it resulted in 2 million signatures within the first six weeks.


2. Starbucks

Starbucks represents itself as an eco-friendly company through its green and white logo. Although this may seem like a ‘small’ detail, in fact, it’s a significant one. The company also highlights plant-based menu options, reusable packaging, regenerative agriculture, and better waste management. It even invites customers to track how it produces its products and cuts emissions.


3. Patagonia

This brand builds a connection between storytelling and the mission to protect the planet. Their famous “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign launched in 2011 aimed to make customers think about their purchasing habits and their impact on the environment. Even though the ad wasn’t successful in its intended purpose, it still resulted in increased sales and awareness.


4. Dell

Dell brands itself as sustainable by using renewable energy from solar panels. It also commits profits to remove plastic from oceans and offers a friendly recycling plan where consumers can send back used equipment for safe disposal.


5. Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat uses plant-based alternatives to create healthier products that taste like real meat. Their visual identity and website really highlight the importance of saving the planet and promoting healthier living.


6. Who Gives a Crap

50% of this brand’s profits go to building toilets in poor countries. With products made out of 100% bamboo or recycled fiber, “Who Gives a Crap” combines environmental and social issues in its branding strategy.


7. Lush

Remember Lush? The well-known cosmetics brand very dear to skin-care lovers, promotes sustainability by the type of products they offer, 100% vegetarian and cruelty-free.



“People & Planet Positive” is a strategy that IKEA has applied to inspire people to make positive changes within the brand’s community and the world at large. The brand communicates its message through various channels, including social media. It also shares stories about sustainable living, circular economy principles, and community initiatives.


9. Pella

Pella produces biodegradable products to reduce plastic waste and create a waste-free future. Their products, such as phone cases and sunglasses, are made from compostable materials.


10. Green Toys

Green Toys produces safe and green toys for kids from 100% recycled products. They highlight the importance of using recycled materials, like milk jugs, in their storytelling.


Principles of Sustainable Branding


1. Create a Sustainability Roadmap

A sustainability roadmap is a strategic plan that helps businesses guarantee long-term impact and market relevance. Brands must integrate sustainability into their operations and everyday processes to make their principles visible and influential.


2. Understand the Process

Brand designers and copywriters are responsible for fully understanding how the business operations will align with consumer mindsets regarding sustainability. They should help create a connection between the processes and the brand’s purpose and then communicate this creatively to consumers.


3. Embrace Transparency and Integrity

Brands should promote their actions to support sustainability efforts in a transparent way without misleading consumers. Even if a brand is not yet fully sustainable, it can share its vision and milestones.


4. Purpose Ahead of Profit

The mission of sustainable brands goes beyond maximizing profits. Their focus is and should always be to impact people and the environment first.


What You Should Know About Eco-Friendly Businesses

Designing an eco-friendly brand could be a smart business idea.

It benefits your business and makes a great strategy to position you ahead of other brands that don’t promote the same motive. Plus, the increased demand for eco-friendly products means one thing: there is already an existing target audience, customers who actively look out for brands offering this kind of product.

Studies have shown that people are willing to spend more on sustainable products, and the leading group is millennials. Since millennials and Gen Z are the largest share of consumers, businesses must always be prepared for the future regarding sustainable consumerism.

A green business model to get inspired from, is for example, print-on-demand (POD). About 25% of all big retail stock goes unsold, making POD a greener option that allows for unlimited product designs and alternatives without the risk of overproduction. Furthermore, with production partners located worldwide, you can select a partner close to your customers, thereby reducing carbon emissions from transport and shipping.


How to Build an Eco-Friendly Sustainable Brand

Here are some of our suggestions on how to build an eco-friendly, sustainable brand:


1. Choose Your Eco-Friendly Product

Choosing the product you want to promote and sell is the fun part. Stores like Printify, TPOP, and AOP are great suppliers of organic products. Some ideas include vegan skincare, vegan makeup, reusable bottles, phone cases, vegan candles, organic T-shirts etc. You can choose whichever resonates with your brand idea and plan.


2. Printing Methods and Packaging

Printing, inks, and packaging are just as important as the main products. To meet the desired expectations, they should all meet sustainability standards. Be transparent about your efforts and show how you’re helping the environment.

Don’t forget to ensure your brand and marketing reflect your eco-friendly perspective. This can be done subtly, with earth-friendly messages in your marketing, or boldly, through your brand name and visual identity.


3. Inspire Customers to Take Action

Inspiring your customers is another excellent practice. Let them know how they can participate in your green initiatives. For instance, you could inspire them to share your product so others see it, or you could plan to do giveaways once in a while.

Celebrate your green achievements with your customers and tell them what you’ve accomplished together. This will inspire them to continue taking action and contributing to a better environment.


4. Reduce the Need for Returns

Reducing the need for returns is another step to be greener. Returns result in extra transportation emissions and packaging waste. While some returns are inevitable, you can reduce their frequency by creating better product content.

Be as detailed as possible and include comprehensive information about the product. This might include details about colors, sizes, materials, texture, and country of origin. The better informed your customers are, the less likely they will need to return their purchases.


5. Be Real With Your Customers

One important aspect to avoid on your green journey is misleading—spending more time and money marketing yourself as eco-friendly than actually minimizing your environmental impact. This cheapens your brand and does nothing for the environment.


How to Measure the Success of Sustainable Storytelling

To measure the effectiveness of sustainable storytelling, brands should track various metrics:


1. Engagement Rates

Staying updated with how audiences interact with your content is a very important step. High engagement rates often indicate that your storytelling is resonating well. Low rates are also important indicators of what you could do best. Knowing what people love serves as a guide on where to focus your efforts more.


2. Customer Feedback

Feedback is another very important parameter that helps you provide qualitative insights into the impact of your storytelling. Encourage the audience to leave comments or even send you an email with their suggestions on what you can improve.


3. Brand Perception

Interactive content is a great way to understand how your brand is seen in terms of sustainability. Conduct surveys, create quizzes, Q&As, polls, or use social listening tools to get responses from your audience.


4. Sales and Loyalty Metrics

Evaluate if there is an increase in sales or customer loyalty linked to your sustainability storytelling efforts. If so, it will inspire you to increase your efforts. In the worst-case scenario, you will have to improve your brand strategy.


5. Media Coverage

Track media mentions and coverage related to your sustainability initiatives. Positive coverage can boost your message and improve credibility. The more people hear about your brand, the more awareness increases.



Sustainable brand storytelling is much more than a marketing tactic to attract more customers. Instead, it’s a well-thought strategy that aims to build a loyal customer base in an eco-conscious market. Brands can easily accomplish this mission by offering the authenticity their audience requires to feel through the power of their voice and actions. As consumers continue to demand more from the brands they support, sustainable storytelling will become even more important in differentiating those brands that genuinely prioritize our planet’s well-being.