Sustainability Gains Consumer Traction, As Modo Anticipates Eco 2.0

NEW YORK –Environmental awareness. Sustainability. The Green Movement. What many market observers used to characterize as a passing fad, is now becoming an entrenched consumer behavior, several new studies point out.

The Natural Marketing Institute and MIT’s 2011 study, “Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point,” reflects that 67 percent of U.S. consumers are now “looking for ‘greener’ products.” MIT’s survey also noted that sustainability is now a part of 70 percent of corporate agendas.

Pierre Fay.
In addition, 83 percent of the U.S. population can be classified as “eco-conscious” consumers today, according to “The New Rules of Green Marketing” by Jacquelyn Ottman. A GMA/Deloitte Green Shopper Study reflected that, among the 7,000 surveyed U.S. consumers, some 63 percent were “looking for green products” and that 95 percent would “buy green” if given an opportunity to do so. Further, said GMA/Deloitte, “green” consumers do shop more often and spend more when they do.

Changing consumer attitudes— and accompanying purchasing behavior—is reinforcing the platform that has been built by Modo Eyewear over the past two and a half years since the company launched its Eco eyewear collection.

“Our own research, leading research from the field and the feedback we are receiving from Modo’s Eco customers,” said Pierre Fay, Modo’s president, “is corroborating the fact that sustainable products and green principles used to be a ‘nice-to-have’ and now they are a ‘must-have’ for a growing majority of consumers.”

“We have been able to review these presentations and data with our growing base of customers to show them the expansion of what’s happening in this arena. And, in fact, the distribution of the Eco line has increased steadily since the launch in 2009 to reach a total of 8,000 doors today with a mix of independent ECPs and retail chain locations. Sales of the Eco brand at ECP locations in the U.S. have been growing more than 50 percent a year, collectively, for the past two years,” Fay said.

 Modo’s “Born Recycled” is the message behind its updated Eco lifestyle platform to: Look Good. Feel Good. Do Good.
The company launched with a “95 percent recycled materials” stance with fairly basic products in black, tortoise and crystal, and an environmentally-friendly shipping and packaging story as well. The line itself expanded into more colorful styles with pre-consumer recycled acetate and post-consumer stainless metals. The company is also the only eyewear company whose Eco products (and their factories) are UL certified. The program continues to support its One Frame, One Tree program, planting one tree for each frame or sunglass sold, with trees planted in partnership with Trees For The Future. Some 660,000 trees have been planted so far, and the company anticipates its one millionth tree to be planted by the end of this year.


Eco also donates 1 percent of its net Eco sales to 1% For the Planet, a group whose members also include Patagonia, KLeN, Clif Bar, PetCo and Kitchenette.

As a result, Eco has been refining its platform and communication materials for participating accounts and is now emphasizing Eco as “Born Recycled,” citing its origins, as well as further reinforcing the “Look Good. Feel Good. Do Good” messaging in P.O.P., marketing and support materials for its accounts.

Based on that, the company is readying a new Eco 2.0 Collection, which it will debut at Vision Expo West next month, Fay said. In addition to new, more fashion-forward styling, Eco’s new message is that of a “lifestyle” brand, and the company will launch a new creative platform which, Fay said, “will really enhance the story retailers and ECPs can be telling on the sales floor, building relationships with their customers. We see Eco as very value-added for our industry.”

– Marge Axelrad