After reading the case about Matt & Nat and their dedication to making sustainable products, and hearing about the Ten Trees Apparel in class last week, I started to think about other companies that I knew of that focused on sustainable practices as a method of differentiation, and I thought of Clifford Soft Goods.
Clifford Soft Goods (CSG) is a company located in Vancouver who competes in the male underwear industry. The think I found really interesting about CSG and their sustainable efforts is that they are making a product that many people overlook as important, and place low in terms of the difficulty of picking a product or brand. CSG is sustainable in terms of their underwear making, as they use 66% rayon from bamboo while making their products. Rayon from bamboo is sustainable because of many reasons, including the fact that bamboo trees are fully sustainable and regrow within only 55 days. In addition, rayon from bamboo requires no pesticide to harvest and grow the trees, and the material requires little irrigation and it is biodegradable.
The thing that CSG has succeeded with while selling their product as a sustainable alternative to other companies underwear products, is they’ve kept the product looking as men expect it to look, and above all else, costing the same. I’m pretty sure men don’t take that long when buying themselves new underwear, and I’m even unsure if they actually buy the new underwear themselves… or if some lady in their life buys it for them. In addition, it doesn’t seem to be a product that men would spend a while evaluating products and weighing the pros and cons of each alternative. That being said, CSG has taken this into consideration by not charging extra for their sustainable underwear, which I think is extremely important. If they want to capture men’s attention, and actually stand a chance of being bought, they need to price their products the same as all the non-sustainable underwear, and make it look similar, so that men are almost placed in a position of saying, “Hey…why not?”.
CSG, while still a relatively young company, will have success in the sustainable products industry in my opinion, because the sustainable aspect of the product is simply an added bonus; people aren’t paying more for it, so there is no perceived trade off.