Brand Values in the Wild: How Madewell Does Well

Madewell Does Well

I clean out my closet two - three times a year with the changes in seasons. I usually make two trips, consignment first and then I donate everything else to Goodwill. Earlier this year, I found myself making an extra pile and an extra trip for one specific category, jeans.

Without hesitation or consideration of even trying to sell my jeans at consignment, I put them aside with intention because another place has communicated a need and a purpose for my old jeans. That place wasn’t a consignment store or a non-profit, it was for-profit brand, Madewell.

There’s nothing I love more than a brand that has created a philanthropic initiative that is meaningful and relevant to what they want to be known for. Intention and effort up front, makes for amplification and at times effortless promotion of your brand. Here's a a great example from a brand we're all familiar with. 

Wisely, The Coca-Cola Foundation focuses on these three things:
1. Supporting water stewardship programs
2. Fitness and nutrition efforts
3. Community recycling programs

And those were chosen for good reason, because The Coca-Cola Company creates products that are:
1. Made from a base of water
2. Often discussed for their nutritional value
3. Mostly found in cans or plastic

These initiatives align with what the brand does and wants to be known for, streamlining their mission for employees and their message to consumers.

In a similarly wise move, women’s boutique, Madewell (owned by J.Crew) has a history with an origin in selling overalls, jeans and dungarees and is now a brand favorite among the young women’s demographic, making among many other timeless fashion items, blue jeans. What better way to reinforce that you want to be known for jeans than to make jeans your offering to the consumer and the community. When you donate your old jeans to Madewell, they are recycled into insulation for homes through the Blue Jeans Go Green program, keeping textile waste out of landfills and assisting with building efforts in communities around the country. You not only get the feeling of making a difference with your donation, but Madewell also gives you $20 off a new pair of jeans, increasing the chances that you'll buy and donate jeans there again in the future. 

Book Publishers and publicists alike are often saying a line that sounds something like “Do more of what you are already known for.” or “Capitalize on what your audience already comes to you for.” Choosing a philanthropic initiative for your brand should be no different. Don't just choose a random philanthropic initiative to check a box, create a meaningful initiative that brings your true brand purpose to life.