Brands must work to encourage a shift from “zombie consumerism” to a world where the consumer is more aware and involved in the process of designing and manufacturing products, says Puma’s head of sustainability strategy Justin DeKoszmovszky.
Speaking at the D&Ad White Pencil Laboratory event today (11 June), he said: “For a brand it comes down to building loyalty and a long term relationship with the consumer so they are involved with closing the loop with us, and creating an environment where they want to return their old products to us.”
He added: “[In the future] we may not even sell the shoe. What if we lease it or what if it’s a benefit of a membership where we’re talking about brand loyalty, or a bigger service-based package? How do we shift from a Pavlovian zombie consumer to one who is informed, engaged and aware? That is the next step for how we market this and create brand value. It’s a whole different environment for creatives and marketing.”
The brand already provides drop off points in stores to encourage customers to return their shoes when they no longer want them, so that the brand can disassemble them and make them into new products, but DeKoszmovszky believes it has to go further if brands want to be truly sustainable.
Puma aims to “close the loop” on manufacture, sourcing and consumerism by designing products differently so that the materials can be reused after identifying raw materials as its highest environmental cost.