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Brief Published: 7 Dec 2018

Altruistic Christmas: Brands Courting Conscious Consumption

Choose Love

The increasing value of revealing eco-ethical brand behaviour, including nurturing a more mindful attitude to consumption (see The Brief), is swiftly filtering into the Christmas shopping frenzy. We track the brands flipping the focus by reframing the festive season as a platform to raise awareness and give back.

  • Fighting Against US Child Poverty: Aiming to help those 14 million US children living in poverty, US department store Barneys’ Make Change campaign deploys the cent as a symbol of change. Two million pennies form an in-store installation, including a pile in the windows that grows as consumers donate. All the coins will go to Save the Children USA post-Christmas, with Barneys adding an extra $5 for every social media post featuring #centiments and @barneysny.
  • Local Choices: Both maker-focused e-commerce marketplaces Etsy and Not On the High Street have opened bricks-and-mortar spots in London to promote locally produced goods.
  • Supporting Refugees: The Choose Love pop-up in Manhattan and London allows consumers to buy gifts for refugees in 80 international camps. Separated into three categories – Arrival, Shelter and Future – items include clothes, sleeping bags and education vouchers. The 2017 London pop-up raised £1m, affirming the consumer appetite for retail with a charitable dimension.
  • Trialling to Support: East London’s Westfield Stratford mall has opened a rental pop-up called The Drop, offering coveted items including Supreme sweaters for hire from £10 ($13). Visitors can rent pieces for four to seven days, with all profits going to charity initiative Save the Children – Big Up Uganda. The pop-up taps into the lucrative business of street culture (see Brands Harnessing the Hype and The Brief), as well as a growing interest in ethical practice in the luxury sector – 20% of millennial luxury spenders always take ethics into account (Statista, 2017).

For our full analysis of festive retail, including the missed opportunities and concepts with year-round relevance, see Christmas 2018 publishing on December 13.

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