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Media training: latest news on fashion brands and sustainability 
March 27, 2024

Media training: latest news on fashion brands and sustainability 

As providers of media training for fashion brands and media training and message development on sustainability and climate change, we’ve been waiting with interest to hear what the Competition and Markets Authority would say about claims of greenwashing against Asos, Boohoo and George at Asda. The news comes as H&M issues its latest sustainability report.

Panorama investigation

We recently wrote about a Panorama investigation into the working practices at Boohoo, and we’ve worked with a wide range of clothing labels from high street brands to luxury houses – we also specialise in media training for luxury brands, by the way.

Working closely with the media relations teams of fashion houses and clothing manufacturers and fashion PRs we help their spokespeople to defend themselves against accusations of greenwashing. More importantly we also support them in promoting the work that they’re doing to improve their sustainability and their carbon footprint.

Sustainability activities

We’ve recently been working with an international fashion retailer to help their country managers across the globe to talk to their local media about their sustainability activities. Because all of our media trainers are working journalists (operating under strict Non-Disclosure Agreements) they know what the media is looking for from an interviewee – both good and bad things. 

Statistics

One thing that journalists will want is statistics – but not too many. In our media training for fashion brands, we help their spokespeople and media relations teams to identify simple, striking statistics that they can quote during interviews. These “proof points,” are essential when it comes to persuading journalists – and their audiences.

For example, H&M has announced a 22 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the group’s supply chain and a 24 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in its own operations. If you were doing a radio, podcast, TV or TikTok interview on this, by the way, we’d recommend you talk about “cutting greenhouse gas emissions by over a fifth,” or “by nearly a quarter.” This sounds punchier and it’s easier to take on board for an audience that is only hearing you quote these figures rather than being able to read them.

More importantly, we’re looking for examples, case studies and even simple anecdotes. In our media training courses for the fashion industry we work closely with PRs and in house Comms teams to identify these proof points. If you’re using less water in your processes, for instance, tell us how you’re doing this. What new technology are you using? If you want to convince a journalist that you look after those working in the factories that manufacture for you, explain how your inspectors work. You’re reducing your power usage? Great but who isn’t? Give us some specific examples of what you’re doing here. Anything new and unusual would be great for us as journalists.

Media Training workshops

To show that you’re doing the right thing we recommend that spokespeople quote regulations, such as the EU Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR). But then explain, if possible, how you’re going above and beyond this requirement. What else are you doing that’s new and different and that others aren’t doing? 

In our Media Training workshops for fashion brands and in our Media Training for climate change organisations we look at language. There might be words and phrases that work for a specialist sustainability publication such as Green Business. But if you’re doing an interview with stylist magazine or the daily mail then you’ll need to think about translating any technical language and jargon into everyday language.

During the role-play press, radio and TV interviews that we carry out in our Media Training for clothing manufacturers sustainability we challenge the participants on the language that they use and help them to identify alternatives that will resonate with their audiences.

Crisis communications training

Promoting your sustainability credentials is sensible and useful. But this is also a potentially risky area full of elephant traps. If things get really bad, we provide crisis communications training for fashion labels but generally when spokespeople are doing interviews, we help them to identify these risky areas beforehand and work with the inhouse and agency PR teams to develop answers for them.

Sustainability is an increasingly important issue for the fashion and clothing industry. Even if your spokesperson, be they a senior manager, a supply chain professional, a creative director or a store manager is doing an interview on another subject, the journalist may well raise the issue of carbon emissions or circularity. It’s therefore essential that everyone in the industry is prepared to talk about these issues.

Certainly, we’re seeing an increase in our Media Training courses for fashion brands who want to promote their sustainability credentials.

Media training for fashion brands

Come and talk to us about Media Training, message development and testing or even crisis communications. We’d be delighted to help you.

You can follow us on LinkedIn here.

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