To inspire sweeping change for our planet and our collective future, by becoming the standard-bearer of sustainable materials innovations and footwear industry collaboration.
73%of global consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.”1
A survey of 2,000 consumers found that millennials want their purchasing decisions to have a specific, positive impact on both society and the environment. They no longer believe vague environmental claims. 2
While many brands in the market are communicating their sustainability approach clearly, they are missing an essential part of the conversation – the consumer. The consumer, like the brands themselves, has a desire to know their own impact. From the food they eat to the shoes on their feet – they want to know how their choices are making real change happen.
We discovered that Avrio’s challenge is to fill a specific gap in the footwear marketplace – the customer’s plea for measurable impact. But how can a brand honestly and accurately define the impact of each individual product, and then translate that complex data in a way that connects with their customer?
To answer that question, we’d need the input, expertise, and support of the people we’d come to recognize as our “material heroes.” As they revealed their vision of the future of sustainable design – new materials, new processes, and higher standards –we were able to see our path forward unfold.
To tell Avrio’s story is to tell the story of the material heroes. We invited six of the top materials innovators and sustainability thought leaders to share their perspective and insight with us. We gathered in Kansas City to capture these conversations, and to discuss their vision of the future of sustainability in the fashion and footwear industries.
On set with Avrio
AVRIO sees a tomorrow that is both beautiful and good. To get there, we have to make products that represent that future. Other sustainable footwear brands have attempted to affect change by focusing primarily on the good while allowing their brands and products to miss the mark on how the larger sustainability audience defines beautiful and well designed.
“An ugly shoe designed for sustainability: that’s no victory.3”
Eric Sprunk, COO Nike
A NEW DIRECTION
The concept of “beautiful design” is somewhat imaginary and elusive. One persons concept of beautiful stands in direct contrast to that of another. So how do we design a brand and product that first and foremost communicates a lofty goal, while also being distinctive and appealing to those who will connect most with the mission?
Avrio’s primary goal is to focus attention on the future – the future of our planet, our species – our tomorrow. As we imagined that future, we found that the complexity of the problems of the world stood heavy in our minds. We believe that, in contrast, any solution that will gain real traction must have a singular focus – simplicity.
Secondly, we looked at the existing design within the space and found that even those who have achieved simplicity tend to lean heavily into “obvious sustainability” – or the tendency to communicate earth-friendly materials with earth-like textures and colors. But, if our mission is to see sustainable materials become the norm, rather than a differentiator – we need to change the perception of what sustainable products should look like.
The biggest barrier to sustainable product adoption is simple – trust. Brands have recognized that consumers want environmentally responsible product options, but many are implementing weak, vague claims to satisfy that demand. “Green washing” has become perceived as the norm, and consumer trust in sustainable claims has weakened as a result.
To regain their trust, brands need to not only provide real positive impact, but they need to communicate it in a way that consumers can both understand and communicate to others.
We worked with Avrio and our Material Heroes to not only quantify the individual impact of each product, but to find new touchpoints to ensure the customer can easily understand that impact. By printing the impacts in simple language on the insole of every shoe, we can know that the customer will not only see their impact at the point of purchase – but every single day as they put on their shoes.
They have a daily reminder of their own positive impact and Avrio’s mission, and a memorable talking point for communicating this message to others.
AVRIO has a very specific vision of the future, and we remain focused on that vision regardless of what happens around us. AVRIO’s soul is a fighter who won’t back down because this fight is bigger than us. AVRIO won’t accept excuses or submit to “the way things have always been done.” It’s time for change; it’s our job to make it happen.