Where Earth Day Meets Big Data
Happy Earth Day 2014! For this week's Marketing Sustainably blog post, I welcome Adam Freedgood as a guest blogger. Adam Freedgood is a sustainable business advisor and co-founder of Third Partners, a New York-based firm that helps organizations implement strategies that create new revenue opportunities, reduce waste and improve environmental performance. He is also a sustainability expert on the DMA Ethics Policy Committee. —Chet Dalzell
Sustainable Product Companies Benefit From New Breed of Big Data
When marketers laud the advantages of big data, it's usually in the B-to-C marketing context. Sustainable fabric company Thread LLC takes a different approach. By using granular supply chain and social impact data, Thread helps customers improve brand integrity and increase the marketability of core products. For this special Earth Day blog, I sat down with Thread CEO Ian Rosenberger, Director of Community Development Kelsey Halling, and Director of Marketing Frank Macinsky to learn how Thread is using big data to unlock new sales opportunities through positive social and environmental performance.
Q: What Does Thread Do?
Rosenberger: "Thread recycles trash from the poorest neighborhoods on the planet and transforms it into fabric. We then sell the fabric and the story of how it's made to companies that are trying to be more responsible."
Q: Other than recycling, what about your business model makes you sustainable?
Rosenberger: "In addition to holding ourselves to the highest supply chain standards on the planet, we're a certified B-Corp, which means sustainability is in our corporate DNA."
Halling: "Traditionally, the fabric business is linked to environmental and social problems, not solutions. Beyond being a recycling company, we are also interested in social impact."
Q: What are some of the problems associated with the typical fabric supply chain?
Rosenberger: "There are huge problems with textiles. From labor practices to environmental pollution, many brands' supply chains don't measure up to their marketing. For example, last year at this time thousands of people died and were injured in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. Thread exists because we think brands need a more responsible source of raw material."