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Dive Brief:

  • Continuing its push for consumers and companies to operate sustainably, Grove Collaborative featured its global brand advocate Drew Barrymore and Sir Richard Branson in a campaign to raise awareness about plastic waste and the worldwide pollution crisis, the company announced on Thursday
  • A minute-long video highlights research about plastic’s immediate and long-term impact on marine life, and how much plastic people consume in their lifetime. The company, which aims to be plastic-free by 2025, will distribute the campaign across its social media channels and elsewhere online. 
  • Branson noted in a statement that Virgin Red members in the U.S. will soon be able to earn Virgin Points on Grove products.

Dive Insight:

The tension between capitalism and environmental sustainability is clearly visible in the retail industry, which has struggled to improve business practices. And while direct-to-consumer brands have spoken out about the sector’s environmental offenses, the realities of manufacturing, transporting and packaging products can get in the way of achieving sustainability goals.

With this campaign, Grove Collaborative is pushing investors, companies and shoppers to reexamine their plastics consumption. 

“Consumers are looking for brands to lead the way and make it easier for them to live a plastic free life,” Stuart Landesberg, co-founder and CEO of Grove Collaborative, said in a statement. “Our industry needs to change, and while we understand it is an ambitious challenge to be plastic zero in the next three years, we know it’s possible, and we’re calling on all companies across the globe to join us in this commitment.”

The campaign with Branson follows Barrymore’s investment in the company and her appointment to the role of global brand and sustainability advocate in April. The actress and entrepreneur then appeared in the brand’s “Wish-cycling” campaign, which aimed to educate shoppers about the ineffectiveness of plastic recycling. Grove Collaborative went public via a SPAC merger with Branson’s Virgin Group Acquisition Corp. II in June.

Grove Collaborative has also been trying to expand its brick-and-mortar footprint and adjust to market fluctuations. Earlier this month, the DTC brand announced plans to distribute its products at select Kohl’s, Meijer and Giant Eagle locations. In June, the company reported an 11% dip in Q1 net revenue, and its operating loss rose from $36 million to $47 million. The company laid off 17% of its employees in Q1 to cut costs and focus on critical areas.

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