A Chat With September’s Profile, Scott Drayer, director of marketing, Paul Fredrick MenStyle
CS: What has Paul Fredrick done to make itself more of a “green” company?
SD: We’re walking down that road. We’ve asked the question to ourselves, “Do we do as good a job of it as we can be?” No, we’re not. Do we recognize that and are we looking at correcting that? We are. We’ve signed up with Catalog Choice; we’re making use of the unsubscribes that they’re passing along to us. We evaluate that when we find where we’re buying our paper from.
The industry in general, as much as it’s not totally environmentally friendly, I don’t think it’s necessarily as bad as the consumer may think it is. I think the consumer has a picture in their mind of this Paul Fredrick or this Victoria Secret catalog, they’re in the Amazon rain forest chopping down trees. That’s really not the case. We’re working with a paper mill that’s basically a tree farm; and it’s completely sustainable. We recognize that and we’re working with companies, working with mills that do that. We’ve recently added a recycling message to the back of our catalog, and I know that’s one thing that Allen Abbott [executive vice president of Paul Fredrick MenStyle], who’s pretty heavily involved with ACMA [American Catalog Mailers Association], I know that’s one thing that both him and the ACMA in general are thinking quite a bit about.
CS: Have you heard much feedback from your customers on the environmental concerns involved with mailing catalogs?
SD: No, it’s more in the beginning stages. The majority of the messages that we do get from customers are from prospects who basically have received some unsolicited mail. We don’t want to send a prospecting piece of mail to somebody if they don’t want to receive it. I think it’s our job at Paul Fredrick, and our job kind of as an industry, to understand, “OK, what do I do to prevent unsolicited mail going to customers that don’t want it?” We’ve been thinking about that, and I’m not sure there’s a great way to do it out there right now, but it’s really kind of more on the manufacturing side: What can we do to green it up a bit?