Coach is taking a more sombre approach to the holiday season this year and prioritising ethical consumerism over the traditional shopping frenzy. Through Coachtopia, its circular sub-brand that uses waste from the manufacturing of its mainline to create new products, Coach has unveiled ‘A Wasty Holiday’, a new holiday tale to confront the immense amount of wasteful behaviour that happens every year.
Lola Tung of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ teams up with Wasty, Coach’s new magical holiday character to transform holiday waste into Coachtopia pieces. The film opens with Wasty, who is made of upcycled Coach pieces himself, searching the streets alone for discarded items that he can transform into new designs. One night he peers through Tung’s window and sees her panicking about the holiday waste accumulating in her home. Here Wasty quickly makes his first repurposed Coachtopia design in the form of a checkerboard bag for Tung, and their adventure begins.
Geared towards their target Gen Z demographic, Coachtopia offers an air of hope to future generations that they can rewrite the way we conduct ourselves during the holiday period, and take a stand against overconsumption in fun and creative ways. Coach is spotlighting the issue that each holiday season between 25 and 43 percent more waste is created than at any other time of the year, and that $8 billion is spent on unwanted gifts alone resulting in a staggering 10% immediately going to landfill each year.
“In Coachtopia we’re always working to shift our mindsets around how we create and consume fashion—and this is especially important during the holidays, a time of year that’s full of cheer and celebration but also overproduction and overconsumption,” says Joon Silverstein, Coach’s SVP of Global Marketing, Creative and Sustainability and Head of Coachtopia. “That’s why we’re disrupting the traditional narrative by focusing not only on the joy of the season, but also its underlying problems. Through our ongoing conversations with our Beta Community of inspiring Gen Z individuals, we know they keenly feel the conflict between their love of fashion and the impacts of the industry, and that this tension is especially pronounced for them during the holidays. With this campaign, we’re both reflecting these concerns and offering a hopeful way forward, in an emotional tale that invites our audience to join our Coachtopian community of people working together to build a better future for fashion.”
The campaign features an array of upcycled and repurposed bags and accessories such as the Ergo in UpcrushedTM Upcrafted Leather, playful graphic knitwear pieces made with 98%+ recycled wool, new Coachtopia Loop products made with 95%+ recycled PET plastic and a number of special ready-to-wear pieces, such as the brand’s new checkerboard vest in upcrafted shearling scraps, repurposed with leftovers from the production of previous Coach collections.
“I’m so excited to be able to bring Coachtopia’s origin story to life,” says Tung. “The character of Wasty speaks to my inner child, but also reminds us of the beautiful things we can create with waste when we think in a more circular way. The holidays are a cheerful and exciting time of the year, but I also think it’s important to be aware of our consumption and consider the ways we can all be more sustainable. Even if it’s as simple as reusing wrapping paper.”
As the campaign rolls out, Coachtopia will be translating Wasty’s rules for ethical consumption into the real world via their marketing and sales strategies. Coachtopia will be replacing extreme promotions, flash sales and FOMO-focused messaging with playful gifting ideas that speak to Coachtopia’s products’ carbon footprint reductions (versus comparable styles made with new materials). As Coach continues to rethink the typical fashion cycles, Coachtopia will not be offering discounted promotions during the holiday season and will be offering consumers the opportunity to return any unwanted purchases at any time in exchange for store credit depending on the condition of the piece, so they can be resold, recycled or remade for a second life.