Kenzo Hosts a Digital Pop-Up in Paris to Benefit Marine Life

Putting the emphasis on the environment may be a smart piece of positioning on Kenzo's part.
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Eliza Brooke
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Putting the emphasis on the environment may be a smart piece of positioning on Kenzo's part.
Photo: Kenzo

Photo: Kenzo

Kenzo may be better known for its sweatshirts than its environmental efforts, but this week it's putting the latter front and center. Since Thursday, the brand has been hosting a digital pop-up installation in Paris that allows passers-by to make purchases of the brand's limited edition #NoFishNoNothing collection, the proceeds of which benefit the Blue Marine Foundation, an ocean conservancy.

The screen shows fish swimming around, and at intervals 30 percent of them disappear from the screen to represent the number of marine creatures that could go extinct as a result of overfishing. But -- and here's the clever bit -- every time someone makes a purchase or posts an Instagram photo of the pop-up with the corresponding hashtag, a fish is added to the virtual aquarium.

So, you can see how urgent it might feel to buy, buy, buy. (Or 'gram, 'gram, 'gram.)

This isn't to say that selling product or leveraging free press from Instagram to benefit an environmental organization is necessarily a bad thing. If anything, it's a net good. But it could also be smart business. As the digital research group L2 pointed out in a blog post today, focusing publicity on a social cause rather than on the brand itself can help give sales a bump. Patagonia proved that point in 2013, when it asked customers to buy fewer of its products -- and saw a sales increase as a result.

We've reached out to Kenzo to see how Parisians have been responding to the pop-up and will update when we hear back. If we had to guess, we'd say it's going well. This is Kenzo, after all.