Brands that take responsibility for their product’s entire life cycle
trendwatching.com has identified an encouraging pattern it calls ecocycology where brands help consumers recycle by taking back their no-longer needed products, and then doing something new and constructive with them.
Nike was one of the fist big businesses to develop such a scheme, launching its Reuse-A-Shoe scheme back in1990. Since then, over 25 million pairs of worn-out Nike shoes have been collected, sliced, separated and ground up into a material called Nike Grind, which is then used in creating athletic and playground surfaces, as well as a variety of new Nike products.
Several computer companies including Dell and Apple have recycling programs (although often not in Australia!), but I’ve blogged about the challenges of getting independent and complete assessments of the real impact of such programs and how they compare vs the massive footprints of behemoth corporations. Nonetheless, any program which takes broad responsibility for the entire life cycles of a product is a good start, as well as providing a powerful marketing tool and important corporate statement. Let’s see more manufacturers coming up with such innovative programs and more marketers using them to excite – and reward – their responsible customers.