Happy Earth Day! Brands Including BMW, Uniqlo Promote Eco-Friendly Efforts

The annual worldwide Earth Day holiday is all the impetus some brands need to tout their eco-friendly initiatives or to announce new ones. 

BMW of North America is partnering with Scenic America to plant 25 trees for every electric vehicle test drive taken at participating U.S. BMW Centers between April 18 and May 1.

“Sustainability is at the core of our BMW Group values, extending well beyond the cars we make to the way in which we live and operate in the world around us,” said Marcus Casey, vice president of marketing, BMW of North America. “Joining forces with Scenic America allows us to give back to the planet in a meaningful way – one tree at a time, one EV test drive at a time, while also showcasing our growing lineup of fully electric vehicles.”

While “fast fashion” brands and retailers like H&M, Zara, Shein and Uniqlo have taken heat for producing cheaply made, throwaway items that end up in landfills, several of them are trying to enact measures to be more earth-friendly. 



Uniqlo is highlighting its efforts to help extend the life of the clothes it produces. The brand is collecting used Uniqlo garments at its stores to either transform them into new garments or distribute them to nonprofits. 

The brand is also offering a line of polyester clothing recycled from PET bottles. And Uniqlo has begun collecting down garments to transform into new products to reduce the need to gather new down feathers. 

The roughly 20% of clothing donations that cannot be reused are transformed into soundproofing materials for automobiles.

Rothy’s shoes is committed to keeping single-use plastics out of landfills, having transformed over 158 million plastic bottles into long-lasting shoes and accessories to date. This April, Rothy's tapped creative agency Yard NYC to help take its commitment further, with the goal of putting a value on New York’s plastic that’s headed to the trash. 

In the brand’s first foray into advocacy, Rothy’s this past week took a stand to modernize New York’s 40 year-old Bottle Bill and support NY’s Sure We Can with the donation of a mobile recycling unit, allowing the leading coalition of more than 1,000 recyclers to recycle hundreds of thousands more bottles annually.

Food brands are also getting on board the Earth Day bandwagon.

Each spring, baby ducks -- which love to nest in the tall cover crops -- are rescued from Lundberg Family Farm’s rice fields before the planting season begins. As part of its regenerative agriculture practices, the brand is committed to protecting wildlife habitat — 30,000 ducks have been rescued to date.

The brand's latest campaign light-heartedly educates consumers on what regenerative organic farming practices look like, and pokes fun at celebrating the planet only once a year, saying that Earth Day is actually “every ducking day.”

The campaign includes a full-page ad in The New York Times and additional regional takeovers in Minneapolis, Bentonville and Cincinnati. 

Gray Whale Gin was founded by a SoCal couple, Jan and Marsh Mokhtari, who were so inspired on a camping trip to Big Sur that they created a company and dedicated their lives to helping protect the California coastline and whales. In less than five years, they have already helped make legislative changes to protect the oceans off the West Coast.

The company is publicizing how every purchase of the gin year-round gives back to 1% for the Planet and Oceana, the largest organization in the world devoted to ocean conservation.

To support Earth Day this year, Current Global (an IPG agency) is doing something the company says no other company has the courage to do: nothing. 

“Lots of agencies and marketers around the world will create a social media post to honor Earth Day,” per a statement. “But, believe it or not, that simple act actually does more harm to the Earth.”

According to and other sources, using popular social platforms for just 2.5 hours a day uses the same amount of energy it takes to drive a car 1.2 miles. That adds up to 438 miles each year.

“So, we think the best thing to do is nothing,” per the statement. “And to ensure we’re contributing zero to fossil fuel emissions, we’ll be removing ourselves from social media for the week. Across platforms, we will not post, share videos, or participate in social conversations to further our own commitment to a cleaner environment.”

Happy Earth Day!  Now get offline and go outside.

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