M&S believes that all of its products need to drive purpose, and that sustainability must be mainstreamed into all of the choices
M&S is a highly trusted brand, operating in a busy marketplace. Exceeding customer expectations is very important to the company to differentiate its brand and maintain its success.
Amongst the expectations that customers have is that M&S will do the right thing by communities and the environment, alongside offering a great experience to customers. Growing customer expectation of transparency around company operations contributes to this.
Continuing the work of its well-known Plan A, M&S has developed and rolled out a process to further embed sustainability into its products.
To date, 73% of all of its products have a "Plan A Attribute" - meaning that they have an environmentally or socially positive quality, over and above the market norm. Key to M&S is how it creates its products, and how this is explained to the customer.
The 'Pure' range of beauty products, which use waste grape by-product from the UK wine-making industry, utilising its antioxidant properties in a high-quality beauty range.
M&S sourcing of sustainable raw materials, such as 100% RSPO certified palm oil, and sustainable cotton, now making up 42% of the cotton used by the company.
Offering customers a 'supply chain map' from which they can find out where M&S products are made and source, featuring clothing and food factory locations.
A collaboration with eco-fashion queen Livia Firth, for which she curated a range of products with 'Plan A Attributes' in order to raise awareness amongst M&S'
By taking a holistic approach to mainstreaming sustainability, M&S has identified multiple benefits.
Commercial: Pure is one of the fastest growing beauty brands.
Customer loyalty and trust. Customer insight shows that M&S customers trust the company to manage on these issues.
Efficient and innovative business models. M&S has tested circular economy concepts with its product development.
Supply chain improvements. M&S has made its supply chains more resilient by making them more sustainable, with raw materials affected including palm oil, cotton and wood.