On November 8, 2022, Skechers began an advertising campaign to promote its cause marketing partnership with The Nature Conservancy.
The deal allows Skechers to prominently display The Nature Conservancy logo as a seal of approval on co-branded shoes that Skechers has dubbed the Our Planet Matters collection. The shoe boxes feature conspicuous use of green and the tagline: “Good for Your Feet. Good for the World.”
To reduce environmental impact, the Our Planet Matters shoes are manufactured with vegan and recycled materials, which are listed on the footwear’s packaging and hangtags.
The Endorsement’s Halo Effect
An environmental sustainability endorsement from The Nature Conservancy is highly credible: With over 1 million members and $1.3 billion in annual revenues, The Nature Conservancy employs over 400 scientists and is the largest environmental non-profit organization by revenue and assets in the Americas.
“Our Planet Matters shoes provide environmentally conscious (shoppers) with an option to help protect our planet,” said Jennifer Hoyer, global director of Cause Marketing & Brand Partnerships for The Nature Conservancy.
Advertising for Skechers’ Our Planet Matters footwear references The Nature Conservancy partnership:
“Nothing matters more than keeping our planet healthy. That’s why Skechers is proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy for the Our Planet Matters collection: Comfortable, stylish footwear that’s made from vegan and recycled materials with many fashionable styles, from sneakers to sandals, for adults and kids. Skechers’ Our Planet Matters (shoes) feel amazing with Skechers famous comfort features. Plus, they are machine washable and very durable. So they last longer. Tread responsibly with Skechers’ Our Planet Matters (shoes). Good for your feet. Good for the world.”
In return for co-branding, Skechers has agreed to pay a flat fee to The Nature Conservancy. The fine print says: “Between September 1, 2021 and December 31, 2024, Skechers will contribute $800,000 to The Nature Conservancy. The purchase of SKECHERS Our Planet Matters shoes will NOT result in a contribution to The Nature Conservancy.” (emphasis added)
That flat fee, independent of customer purchases, is a departure from the typical ‘You buy. We’ll give.’ cause marketing tactic deployed by other footwear companies such as TOMS and Bombas:
Paraphrasing: Which cause marketing technique is more enticing to shoppers?
- Option 1: “If you buy our shoes, we’ll donate a pair of (cheaper) shoes to someone in need.”
- Option 2: “A respected environmental non-profit organization agrees that the packaging and materials in our shoes damages the environment less than alternatives.”
Skechers has chosen the latter option with its Nature Conservancy partnership.
Sketchers and The Nature Conservancy are “Partnering for a Purpose.”
According to The Nature Conservancy, “Skechers’ support of (our) global conservation efforts, such as reforestation, is aligned with (their) longstanding commitment to reducing tree harvesting and emissions through packaging.”
Sketchers’ overall commitment to reducing environmental impact, particularly with sustainable packaging, is authentic:
- 93% of Skechers-branded shoeboxes are fully recyclable
- 100% of Skechers foot forms and tissue paper packaging is recyclable.
- Since 2016, Skechers has reduced its foot form plastic by 99% to less than 1% – all of which is recyclable.
- 100% of Skechers packaging materials are printed with soy-based or water-based ink.
- 99% of Skechers-branded footwear is packaged in shoeboxes that meet the Forest Stewardship Council standard for responsible sources.