The Making a Difference series shares stories and actions from the Real Changemakers in our community who are driving positive change – offering inspiration and insights on the many routes there are to making a difference. This week we spoke to Izy Dixon the Communications Manager for luxury lingerie and sexual wellness brand Coco de Mer. Through her varied background and passion for purposeful work, Izy navigates challenges, shares advice on promoting sustainability within companies, and looks forward to shaping the brand’s evolution while fostering positive change.
. . .
Hi Izy! Can you tell us about your role at Coco de Mer and how it all began?
Well, I have a dream client list and Coco de Mer has been firmly on it for as long as I can remember. Last year I decided to go for it and got in touch to see if I could help with their sustainability credentials and general communications, and as if by magic, the timing was perfect as they had just signed up to start their journey with Positive Luxury. So, for a year I have been in heaven, working across all things communications for the brand, working on concepts and strategies, to our digital presence and tone, to the behind the scenes imagery and, last but by no means least, to our arrival as one of Positive Luxury’s Changemakers.
What qualifications do you have? Did they help in getting you where you are today?
I have qualifications in PR, Marketing, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Illustration – not the most useful in this instance, but I do still illustrate, and I do feel all these qualifications help give me a rounded appreciation of many aspects of a business, especially when needing a little extra creativity!
Have you always worked in sustainability? If not, what did you do before?
Not in the environmental sense, but I have always worked for conscientious brands wanting to do better. I was offered a role with a homeware brand straight after graduation, which was the loveliest family business and worked from the ground up, being their first employee working above the family garage and leaving them with a warehouse and a team of 20+, now it’s tenfold which is so wonderful to see. That led me into the type of people I love to work for, and in time my own family business, a 75 year old property business with a reputation for sustainable development within the realm of healthcare and retail. Working with brands that cared about sustainability and was as rewarding as working with my family, and it was that role that led me to my role at Positive Luxury, almost ten years ago now! Spending a year working with Diana and ‘The A Team’ at such an exciting part of the journey taught me so much, and working with brands who genuinely believed in being purposeful and sustainable lit something in me. Since then I have worked for small, growing, purpose-led brands globally and get so much joy from working with people who make beautiful, considered things and want to do better.
What made you fall in love with sustainability?
Growing up in the countryside, nature in general, a love of animals, Sir David Attenborough… There are so many reasons to love sustainability. The power to innovate in a way that can be a force of good – the creativity and purpose in that combination is so exciting. Having my daughter stirred a fire in me to make sure she was proud of the work I was doing and created a consideration for the legacy that my actions make. Sustainability has the power to be such a force for good and I want her to see me doing everything I can to ensure that for her and the generations beyond, encouraging her to think about these things from day one.
What does your day-to-day look like?
No day is ever the same, but it does tend to start with an early rising little girl! Once she’s set up for the day, my day can cover copywriting of all kinds (I love when I can wax lyrical on a topic and loathe a word count!), strategy pieces, award submissions, newsletters, social media, meetings, photoshoots, team building, illustrations… Sustainability, of course! I love the variety and really thrive on it.
What challenges have you faced?
Convincing people of the worth in marketing and sustainability is often a real challenge – it can be really hard to measure the former and many are reluctant to invest in the latter, seeing it as a nice to have in the current economic climate. But the environmental climate is forcing that to be addressed. The logistics of my day to day are probably the most challenging, as I’m sure is the case for so many, but I love what I do so much and I believe in the example it sets my daughter – I’m incredibly grateful to the people I work with supporting the need for flexibility. Working for brands with purpose, that are genuinely committed to being better and improving certainly makes things happen quicker, as was the case with Coco de Mer, much to my delight and reassurance! When you’re working on change within a business that has been doing the same thing for years, averse to change and unable to see the vision or value – that’s a real challenge, but then to make the change happen there is even more rewarding!
What are you most proud of?
Being a creative, hard-working single mother to a magical girl, giving her the best example I can. Making those I love proud is incredibly special. Finishing a day and knowing there will be a positive impact from the work is a very satisfying feeling. Along with that, when Delilah sees a drawing of mine and recognises it, that’s pretty unbeatable.
What advice would you have for anyone looking to contribute to their company’s sustainability goals?i
There is no bad place to start – every person and every role has an impact and can do something to help improve things. Look at the day to day – where could things be tweaked on a small, manageable level? Are there things that could instantly change for the better? For example, at Coco de Mer we wanted to see what we could do about packaging and reducing our plastic consumption. By one incredible woman sharing a suggestion and asking a question of our suppliers, our plastic packaging reduced by 98% in a matter of moments. Don’t hesitate to ask questions – you might be stirring a nest, but with a positive approach and solutions in mind, it will be for the best in so many ways.
What’s next for you?
There is so much ahead for Coco de Mer, I’m so excited to see all our hard work come to life, not to mention all that lies ahead that we haven’t even started yet! Alongside this, helping more brands become forces for good, sharing more inspiring stories, more incredible photoshoots… On a personal note, I’ve got a couple of children’s books I’ve been meaning to finish for years, so I’m determined to make those happen!
Positive Luxury's CEO, Amy Nelson-Bennett, participated last week in a webinar with fellow Butterfly Mark certified brands Clase Azul and Bamford. Together with Iván Ruezga, Chief People Officer at Clase Azul and Will Dennis,...
The latest marketing toolkit is now available to view within the Marketing Library. The legislation around "green" marketing is ever-changing so this covers the real need-to-knows. The toolkit covers the following and much more... Context ...
If you were unable to join our recent community workshops with Mangrove Consulting, full recordings of the sessions are now available in the Marketing Library. Mangrove Consulting are the ‘stretch consultancy’, the creative alternative to...