Eco-friendly home and personal care product maker Method like most eco-friendly brands views itself as an agent of change and strives to achieve a triple bottom line (economic environmental and social) when doing business. To bring its mission and vision to life Method took over raw retail spaces in three trendy cities for its Detox Your Home campaign—Detox Boston in April; Detox New York in June; and Detox Chicago in September—and turned them into Method pop-up shops.
Method repainted the temporary spaces with low- or no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint installed rugs and carpets that didn’t off-gas switched to CFL bulbs and purchased furniture from Crate & Barrel and Ikea made with the environment in mind. Iconic pieces like award-winning architect Frank Gehry’s Wiggle Stools made of compressed corrugated cardboard took it up a notch. Even the staff wore environmentally responsible apparel from Patagonia and Banana Republic made from renewable sustainable fabrics organic cotton bamboo chlorine-free wool and other eco materials.
“We want our events to adhere to the same approach we take in product development considering all the elements that go into creating the final product and its implications on our surroundings from start to finish ” says Anna Boyarsky grassroots marketing guru at Method. For sampling Method pumped its products into recycled glass jars – a smart way to reduce waste and a give-away that consumers could later repurpose.
After hours Method Maven parties added a word-of-mouth component. Guests included bloggers PTA members and other prominent people and community groups. Eco-expert hosts including Julia Roberts’s go-to green guru Sophia Uliano provided tips for creating green crafts cocktails cosmetics and other green lifestyle ideas. To reduce waste Method replaced traditional paper and plastic products with compostable or recyclable dishware and utensils cloth linens and napkins. The bathrooms were furnished with organic cotton towels instead of paper towels. And the food served was organic sustainable or locally grown. The Method Maven parties were an extension of an event in 2007 when the company rented a LEED-certified home in Seattle for a month. The environmentally built home which featured eco touches like bamboo flooring and low-flush toilets was a natural tie in to Method’s line of green home care products.
Reinforcing its core values as an agent of change Method installed a toxic turn-in at each stop where consumers exchanged their toxic cleaning products for a free Method product. Method teamed up with local agencies that specialize in disposing of toxic chemicals to execute that part of the program. “We see business as a powerful agent of change and strive to be a truly positive one through all aspects of our business – from the products we produce to the operations in place to make the products to how we conduct our day-to-day business at the corporate level ” says Boyarsky. “We make sustainability a focus with every supplier and work with our vendors to make sure that the way we make things is as green as the products themselves.”
But eco-friendly brands have more than a green mission in common. Many gaining popularity gradually often have smaller budgets in common as well. And that’s why grassroots programs and word-of-mouth events are central to Method’s marketing strategy. Having learned to do more with less Method targeted the pop-up program to three highly trafficked neighborhoods rather than stretching its budget in less relevant markets. So are smaller budgets a blessing in disguise in a green market? It seems that way. Brands with smaller budgets are likely to be more open-minded to new ideas which is a plus in an evolving green market hungry for fresh perspectives.
“We bake in the costs of using green materials into our budget at the onset of a program. While the cost may initially be higher than if we were to go with mainstream options we do everything we can to create budget-conscious solutions like reusing décor and props from event to event. The cost of choosing greener materials when event planning is minimal and the output lends itself to our authenticity as a bright green company ” Boyarsky says. “Events are a great way to make Method’s Detox Your Home message come to life because it offers a holistic experience of the brand. People get a chance to learn what Method is about more than just innovative design or eco-friendly formulas it’s a balance of style and substance that’s woven throughout every aspect of the brand.”
How does Method stay green behind the scenes? Method products made from naturally derived and biodegradable ingredients are shipped via bio-diesel trucks to reduce its carbon footprint. Manufacturing employee travel and office use are offset in a variety of ways such as using solar powered forklifts in its warehouses recycling and picking an office location that is central and near public transportation to cut down on employees’ commuter carbon footprint. In the past Method has purchased wind and solar energy credits to offset its activities. Currently Method is allocating a portion of its carbon offsetting money to encourage suppliers to become greener. The company has partnered with NativeEnergy (nativeenergy.com) to reward suppliers with financial incentives for greening their operations through on site renewable energy generation or new energy-efficient equipment with the goal of reducing emissions at the source (Agency: A Squared Group West Hollywood CA). EM.
Photo Credit: unsplash.com/@brina_blum