PR Spin? This Brand Gets Real With Press

Finding a clever PR angle to attract audiences to a press conference is always in fashion. But instead of bragging about a brand’s achievements, Picture used the opportunity to share honest industry challenges and invite the audience to leave a little bit the wiser.

French company Picture is also going its own way when it comes to PR. Instead of inviting people to a press conference on seasonal news, attendees were invited to hear from Picture’s sustainability manager Florian Palluel about the challenges facing the company – and the industry as a whole. Suston Magazine attended the international press webinar.

So, what are the “biggest challenges of the textile industry,” according to Florian Palluel and Picture?

Unsurprisingly, the climate issue was in the spotlight, with studies from 2018 suggesting that the textile sector will increase its footprint by a staggering 49% by 2030. An increase in global sales volumes – not a growth of population – driven by fast-fashion prices, sales, and increasing number of collections per year to name a few, are effectively counteracting the impact reduction initiatives that are currently underway. One of the most pertinent challenges associated with this is that production is dependent on electricity, and much of it takes place in countries that rely on coal and gas.

What’s a responsible company to do?

Picture’s answer to this challenge is to reset its business model to “post-growth.” The company has joined B-Corp and introduced a number of new initiatives in line with a post-growth model, including renting out clothes and offering free repairs for the lifetime of the garment.

“We are also trying to introduce “moderation” into our development. Just because we can launch a new product, it doesn’t always mean we should,” said Florian Palluel during the webinar.

While Picture alone is too small to influence the energy supply of its suppliers, through the European Outdoor Group (EOG) the company wants to work with other brands – sometimes competitors – to build clean-energy solutions at its factories. The idea is that all companies manufacturing at a given factory will, based on their order value, finance the construction of clean energy solutions there.

Picture is also taking an active role with En Mode Climat to tighten environmental legislation for the fashion sector. Classic lobbying, then, or perhaps company activism – I guess it depends on who you ask.

A new PR direction?

“The reason for this webinar was that we wanted to give the participants a broader perspective on sustainability issues in the textile industry than they normally hear from brands,” shares Picture’s PR lead for Sweden Malin Nilsson.

“We focused on what we thought would be valuable information for the participants, meaning not just the brand but the broader challenges affecting the industry and how Picture is handling them together with other brands. Hopefully we gave them new knowledge and perspective, teaching them something they didn’t know and that actually matters to them.”

Photo: Elias-Elhardt/Picture


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