Soul Flower is a small business that sells eco-friendly, Fair Trade, and ethically made clothing and gifts. Informing customers of the sustainable qualities of items and educating them on the reasons to buy ethical fashion is an ongoing mission of the brand.
In 2013, we designed and implemented a labeling system for all items in the online shop that we called “Eco Icons”. I proposed the series of icons needed and produced the graphics.
We assigned each item in the product database one or more eco icons based on its features, and displayed those icons next to the description on each product page online. Customers could click to learn more, with additional information shown in a pop-up window.
In 2016, I pitched the idea of a full guide on the website that would elaborate on each Eco Icon and provide a one-stop reference for all the eco qualities of Soul Flower products; an evergreen educational resource. I created wireframe mockups of the website pages to aid my proposal.
Together, our internal team finalized the design and implemented the webpages. The Eco Guide is still in use to this day, being linked to from every retail email newsletter and in the website footer. It provides further details on the eco qualities listed on each product on the site, helping educate customers while they shop.
The Eco Icons and Eco Guide provided us with a hub of high-quality, consistent educational information that we could reference, republish, and promote in printed catalogs, blog posts, social shares, and marketing campaigns. The Eco Guide turned out to be quite useful, inspiring future education-focused projects and content.
One spin-off project was a series of educational point-of-purchase signage for Soul Flower wholesale customers to print and display in their retail shops. For these, I researched issues surrounding the fashion industry and compiled a collection of facts from reputable sources. I then edited my findings and wrote easy-to-understand statements in the Soul Flower brand voice.
I created custom illustrations for each handout, did the layouts, and exported for downloading and printing. They were then made available to wholesale customers. I also translated each topic into a blog post, compiling further brand imagery and citing all sources. Blog posts: Hemp Clothing Benefits, Why Choose Recycled Polyester, Why Organic Cotton is Better, Tips to Green Up Your Laundry.
For the month of October, I created a special Scary Facts about Fast Fashion printable, blog post, and an Instagram Story feature for Soul Flower’s profile.
One more eco-education-related project is the internal wiki I started for Soul Flower in 2016. I created the wiki to act as a living brand book, documenting the new standards after our 2016 brand refresh. It also houses internal company information for employees, including further details about eco qualities for the customer service team. It’s effectively a staff intranet, used for documenting workflows, procedures, and distributing information across our partially-remote team.
The effort I’ve put in to education about Soul Flower’s brand and sustainability practices is doubly rewarding because references like Eco Icons and the Eco Guide not only help customers make more educated purchasing decisions, but are a valuable tool for internal staff and customer service, as well.