Hanes touts sustainability in branding campaign

WINSTON-SALEM, NC: Hanes introduced an integrated campaign March 25, marking the first time that the brand has made a public push to talk about its sustainability efforts.

WINSTON-SALEM, NC: Hanes introduced an integrated campaign March 25, marking the first time that the brand has made a public push to talk about its sustainability efforts. 

The multimillion-dollar effort includes media outreach and a Web site with tips on how consumers can act in a more environmentally friendly way and examples of steps that Hanes is taking, said Sidney Falken, SVP of marketing communications for Hanes Brand.

The site also features products made with the brand's EcoSmart fabric produced from recycled plastic bottles.

“What we're trying to do is let consumers know that Hanes is committed to environmental responsibility,”said Falken.

Weber Shandwick, AOR for the Hanes brand since 2002, is handling the PR components of the campaign. The agency is reaching out to consumer and business press.

The team tied the launch of the campaign with the news that the Environmental Protection Agency had named parent company Hanesbrands Inc. an Energy Star 2010 Partner of the Year. The program recognizes organizations for their energy efficiency.    

“They want consumers to feel better about wearing Hanes,” said Pete Campisi, EVP at Weber Shandwick about Hanes. “Our message is consumers can take comfort in the fact that Hanes is doing well for environment. It's PR that's communicating that message.”

The agency is also helping to manage the HanesComfort Twitter account and Facebook page to further spread the message, as well as the Hanes Social Mix Hub – an online network launched in August 2009 to bring together social media influencers with customers.

New consumer components of the campaign, including a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, are expected to roll out for Earth Day. Falken said the campaign is intended to reach the growing number of consumers that “prefer to buy from a company that is environmentally responsible.”

She added that this kind of message has business value in a competitive retail market because of the consumer interest in green. In a cluttered green marketing space, though, she said that she believes Hanes will be able to break through by being authentic.

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