Luxury generates 92 million tons of waste each year, being 1 of the few industries that doesn’t give in to what consumers are now expecting: sustainability as a standard. Etat Libre d’Orange is a Parisian niche perfumer that appeals to iconoclasts who do not follow conventions, nor influencers, nor other's likes. These consumers start trends out of their points of view. I Am Trash, the first and only perfume made from waste of the industry, gave them the direct opportunity to wear their convictions. Sustainability was a fantasy; now it’s a reality on their skin.
The brand usually launches two scents per year but in 2018, perfumer Etat Libre d'Orange focused on only one launch. In order to achieve the company's year-end sales objectives, this new product had to be as innovative as never before. We co-created the first perfume made from waste of the industry.
With no fabricant to produce this never done before fragrance in the first place, we had to trigger the interest of the industry. We succeeded to convince Givaudan, the world’s leading flavor and fragrance producer. Our next goal was to produce a sophisticated and delicate scent to counterbalance its radical name: I AM TRASH.
Beyond the figures, “The most wanted scent made from the unwanted” engaged people in challenging the status quo and making the luxury industry finally understand that the future of the 21st century will depend on our ability to reuse waste.
Describe the creative idea (30% of vote)
The idea behind I AM TRASH was to reveal the beauty in waste. From the scent itself to all the communication around it, we wanted to debunk the myth that waste can’t be aesthetic and delightful.
Luxury is deeply linked with the notion of timeless value, yet we tend to live more and more through ephemeral experiences, from social relations to consuming behaviors. The concept of renaissance was at the heart of our creative development since the prosperity of humankind will depend on our ability to manage waste.
For the first time in history, I AM TRASH reconciliated two opposite worlds: perfume and waste. People wearing this unique scent on their own skin is the best evidence that the industry producing 92M tons of waste per year can also change its paradigm.
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
According to a study conducted by Edelman in 2018, 2 consumers out of 3 (65%) decide either to consume or to boycott a brand depending on its social, political and environmental stances. People expect brands to engage more and more into socio-cultural matters. Beyond communication, these engagements need to turn into responsible actions, including new product or service development.
Together with Etat Libre d’Orange, we created the first perfume made from the leftovers of the very process of fabricating perfume. I AM TRASH was boldly embraced as a true reflection of the brand’s mindset. And its striking line “The most wanted scent made from the unwanted” was a clear invitation for consumers to carry this mindset on their skin.
Describe the execution (20% of vote)
It took us 10 months from conception to commercialization. As an end-to-end partnership, the agency not only came up with the idea but also got involved in the brief for the nose, the packaging design, the name of the scent and all the campaign assets.
- We launched a teaser film in April 2018 to fuel excitement and get fabricators interested.
- From April to September, we worked with Givaudan and Daniela Andrier -who is known for her creations for Prada, Gucci and Kenzo among others- to create the scent.
- In October, I AM TRASH was officially launched in the brand’s boutique in Paris, online and via 450 retailers throughout the world.
- In the UK, the perfume was distributed exclusively by Selfridges for the first month.
- In April 2019, the brand did a partnership with Epsy to distribute 500K samples in the US.
List the results (30% of vote)
Results were beyond our expectations. First, we met our objective to make it a commercial success. In 3 weeks, the perfume was sold out. And 3 months after release, demand from the 450 retailers was 4 times higher than previous bestseller. It became the most successful launch in the history of the brand. We signed a partnership with Ipsy to distribute 500K samples in the US, which is expected to boost the company’s annual revenues by up to 20% this year.
From Vogue to Le Monde, the concept was recognized as a step-forward for the entire industry. Givaudan, the world’s leading flavor and fragrance producer we collaborated with on this project, is now receiving similar requests from big luxury brands. Creating an idea that consumers can wear directly on their skin, made them the pioneers of a change of paradigm in the luxury industry.
Please tell us about the challenger brand and how your campaign challenged / was different from your competitors
France is well-known for the excellence of its luxury industry. An industry that worldwide generates 92M tons of waste per year. As a niche player with way more budget constraints than major perfume houses, Etat Libre D'Orange needs to be really bold to stand out. We created I AM TRASH, the first and only perfume made from waste. By contrasting the brutality of its name with the delicacy of its scent, we reconciliated two opposite notions: perfume and waste.
Launched with never seen before visuals, starring worms and decomposing trash, we challenged conventions of a «fine fragrance».
The courageous consumers who sprayed our vision on their skins helped to change the way society looks at trash and inspired other brands to finally make this industry more sustainable.