Strategic Sustainability Communications

Client:
Wrangler

Industry:
Apparel, Sustainability

Challenge:
Establish internal and external sustainability communications for an iconic, American brand.

What We Did:

  • Produced first-ever sustainability document
  • Benchmarked competitors’ sustainability communications and stakeholder concerns
  • Advised, drafted and edited presentation decks
  • Produced storyboards and video
  • Developed and executed targeted PR campaigns

How We Did It:
In 2015, we began working closely with Wrangler’s first director of sustainability to develop a distinct sustainability story and strategy. As a mature brand belonging to one of the largest apparel companies (VF Corporation), Wrangler had been achieving continual progress on major sustainability issues for many years. However, without a director of sustainability, the brand had done little to communicate these achievements or connect them to brand strategy.

The first step was to uncover and benchmark all relevant sustainability work that had been accomplished to date. New Growth Communications lead fact-finding interviews with numerous managers across operations and HR to piece together a comprehensive picture. We then produced a document that communicated the state of Wrangler’s sustainability work to retail customers and VF leadership. In addition, the document established the brand’s unique sustainability story through four pillars of Americana: Land, People, Industry and Future.

With this foundational work in place, our engagement shifted to supporting near- and mid-term strategic development and media relations. This included regular ideation, research and drafting for internal and external communications, as well as coordination with external partners, media and contractors. 

Outcomes:
The first-ever Wrangler sustainability document was well-received internally and by Wrangler customers. In particular, it significantly strengthened Wrangler’s relationship with Wamart. In addition, the document served as the basis for Wrangler’s first consumer-facing sustainability communications on Wrangler.com in 2016, an achievement that is expected to improve the brand’s standing with several important stakeholder organizations. Wrangler’s forward-looking sustainability strategy continues to take shape and has great potential for creating brand value while improving environmental and industry conditions. In addition, visibility for Wrangler’s sustainability program is growing in the media and at industry events.

roian-atwood.jpg

"Bart has been invaluable to my work at VF,” said VF Jeanswear director of sustainability, Roian Atwood. "We often have multiple work streams underway together at any one time. He’s the ultimate utility player, capable of benchmarking and advising strategy, developing internal and external communications, and independently managing projects. I trust his objectivity as an outsider to my organization and he has a broad understanding of and exposure to the sustainability field. My work life wouldn’t be the same without him."