Aurora Magazine

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Sapphire goes ‘green’

Updated Aug 20, 2018 03:17pm
Becomes the first fashion brand in Pakistan to introduce recycled seed bags to curb pollution.

Sapphire, a high-street fashion brand in Pakistan, launched their ‘Seed Bags’ on the occasion of Independence Day to highlight their contribution to a very pertinent problem in Pakistan: growing pollution, as well as to amplify the ‘green’ stance the company has taken.

The initiative was announced a week before August 14, and was led by Manghi Communication Solutions (MCS) – Sapphire’s creative agency, which was also responsible for the ideation (from one of the creative directors in South Africa), procurement and manufacturing of the bags.

Talking about the initiative, Muzaffar Manghi, CEO, MCS says, “After oil and gas globally, fashion retail is the second largest plastic polluter. Therefore, rather than shy away from this glaring fact, we wanted to be honest in addressing it. We wanted to demonstrate that being green can be good for business too.”

He adds that as Sapphire's creative and strategic partner, MCS’s role is to provide solutions that extend beyond advertising and exist more in the domain of ‘acts’ versus ‘ads'.

Sapphire’s seed bags (instead of regular paper bags) are made from recycled cotton waste sourced from the textile industry and are eco-friendly. The bags come embedded with a mix of seeds: amaranth, marigold and China asther. Besides the fact that they are pretty, Manghi says the reason for choosing these plants in particular is that they are resilient and do not need much tending to, and can grow in a variety of climates.


Manghi says that through this initiative the brand not only achieved the objective of staying relevant within the green narrative, but the PR response the agency anticipated helped maintain top of mind (during a very noisy August). He opines that fashion industry communications need to change just as rapidly as their product line-ups – which is every few weeks.


“We figured that when someone plants the bag in their garden, they will most likely forget about it after a few weeks and the plant will have to manage more or less on its own,” he remarks.

With instructions written on them on how they can be sown directly into the soil, the bags came in one size and could be bought on August 14, with any purchase at Sapphire.

The initiative was a huge success in terms of talkability and was appreciated across Pakistan. Since its announcement a week before August 14 on Instagram, Facebook, via bloggers and in-store advertising, Manghi says, “we ran out halfway through the day (so the response was a tad bit better than expected).”

Manghi says that through this initiative the brand not only achieved the objective of staying relevant within the green narrative, but the PR response the agency anticipated helped maintain top of mind (during a very noisy August). He opines that fashion industry communications need to change just as rapidly as their product line-ups – which is every few weeks.

Manghi is clear that these bags are just a small initiative and do not solve the larger problems immediately. “This was a test-run, which has worked well enough; we are considering the modalities of doing this over a long-term.”