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Doing It Right: Branding, CSR and Millennials


Socially responsible brands are important to all of the entire society, but Millennials and Generation Z activists take CSR more seriously than others. They believe in the objectives of companies investing in the improvement of society and contributing to the realization of the social aims and objectives.

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Brands have learned that showcasing their social efforts and initiatives is a crucial way to market to the Millenials and Gen Z, as these efforts will impact their choices as consumers.

Millennials and Gen Z activists are indeed changing the trend in CSR positively. Companies increasingly take a public stance against on-the-job harassment and discrimination such as with the #metoo movement, #blacklivesmatter e.g. the Glossier: Black Owned Businesses Deserve Better, Netflix etc. This leads to embracing diversity in workplaces, including equal treatment for people of all races, genders, cultures, and sexual orientations. 

However, the awareness of the populace is also drawn to the sustainable business practices or brand’s behaviour and responsibility towards its employees and community. As the popular saying goes "Charity begins at home", an organisation depends greatly on its employees' perception of its objectives and initiatives.

Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that employees and communities are united in embracing the organisation's aims and objectives through its social importance. For example, Netflix and Spotify support their employees, and through that, the communities also gain from its behaviour towards their employees. Netflix offers 52 weeks paid leave to their birth and non-birth parents while Spotify offers 24 weeks paid leave to all its employees. This initiative has drastically increased the rate of external job applications to these organisations.

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Brands Doing It Right

Businesses of every scale have ethically adopted the concept of CSR in their sustainable practices to enact positive changes in society. Consumers feel that when using socially responsible products, they are also doing their part in being socially responsible. The more socially responsible a company is, the more supportive and loyal its consumers become.

Here are some brands that have integrated CSR successfully:

Craftsmanship Preservation

Runaway Bicycle is a fashion brand based in Mumbai, founded by Preeti Verma. Its goal is to preserve Indian tradition through crafts that are manufactured by artisans spread across India.

Sustainable Production

Dorsu produces wardrobe essentials that are plastic-free, chemical-free and also applies sustainable practices from production to packaging. Additionally, the brand aims to switch to renewable energy and 100% paperless production. They are based in Cambodia.

Image of Branding, CSR and Millennials
Image of Branding, CSR and Millennials

Recycle & Upcycle

Doodlage is a fashion brand based in New Delhi which majors in recycling and upcycling post-customer water and fabric scraps and transforms the materials into stunning limited-edition collections of garments for men and women. These garnets are ethically manufactured in India and use plastic-free packaging. (Image source: Doodlage)

Ethical Work Practice

Based in the Philippines and founded by Sam Dixon in 2017, they aim at producing effortless designs and wardrobes staples without compromising ethical work practice while having less waste in the process. This brand focuses on building relationships to provide and secure better and sustainable living wages for their workers.

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Socially Responsible

Hemas has won the award for being Asia's Most Socially Responsible Company in 2019. It is based in Sri Lanka and has expanded its operation to many regions such as Bangladesh and beyond. It aims to create and promote sustainable communities across the country in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka.

This brand is commended for its efforts in championing a sustainable and responsible business while adopting an ethical and holistic approach to profit, the planet, and people. (Image source: Hemas Sustainability Initiatives)

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Final Thoughts

However, big brands are not the only ones practicing social responsibility. Small and upcoming brands are also being socially responsible in their business practices, methodology and vision. 

One example is BOMBAS, a company that donates one pair of socks to those in need for every pair it sells. Also, TOMS, a shoe brand, gives away a free pair of shoes to a poor child for every pair it sells. (Image source: BOMBAS)