Responsible Business Practices Enhancing Retail

Responsible Business Practices Enhancing Retail

Responsible Business Practices Enhancing Retail 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

It’s a topic that demands attention and brands have been making strides to build a better business model and get involved, not only in economic growth, but environmental sustainability. Knowing the apparel and textile business is one of the most polluting businesses on the planet, brands are developing new initiatives to combat the hazardous global effects. We explore unique ways retailers are getting involved–driving real, impactful, change that will make this world just a little bit better.

Reshaping the Food Industry

Living up to their brand’s north star of “We’re in business to save our home planet,” Patagonia has been on the forefront of working toward more sustainable practices. Expanding their offering with Patagonia Provisions, developing a positive change to the food industry to “inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.”

The company sought out to develop products with a unique kind of wheatgrass called Kernza. Similar to our everyday wheat, but as a perennial it allows farmers to avoid plowing each year; a large source of carbon release.  In partnership with Cascadian Farm, a new cereal was created, and with Hopworks Urban Brewery, a Belgian-style beer was developed. Effectively looking at alternatives to our current food supply and end uses.

Patagonia Provisions says it will keep working with chefs and farms to grow their products to create a healthy and environmentally friendly offering moving forward.

Inspiring Conscious Consumers

Shopping second-hand doesn’t have the reputation of a world-class experience, but ThredUP is changing that stigma and developed an online business where quality, style, and value are all top of mind. Users can order a Clean Out Bag and Marie Kondo up their closets.

The ThredUP team performs quality control and inspects all items to make sure they are flaw-free, functional, and fashionable. Shopping second hand has hit a chord with young consumers–seeing a 30% increase from last year. The customer is choosing to be smarter in their buying decisions and ThredUP has a created an avenue for them to become a conscious shopper. Encouraging people to “live differently–use less, find joy, have fun, liveUP.”

Transforming Products

Reuse and recycle. Yes, please. One way to shift from a wasteful business is to create something entirely new from a discarded and worn product. When shoes are no longer wearable, what do you do? Instead of throwing them out, Adidas collaborated with designer, Simone Post, to transform those kicks into fashionable rugs. I:CO, a German-based company, creates the material by grinding down the worn out shoes. It’s then sorted into hues and compressed into the designs Simone creates. In testing right now, it’s a new path for the brand to connect with their consumers and strengthen sustainability efforts.

Brands like Aldi and Starbucks are taking the leap to reduce their plastic contribution to the world (thank goodness), but there is still more to do. According to a Plastic Rivers report, plastic bottles have now surpassed plastic bags–becoming the largest threat to our water channels.

Girlfriend Collective is looking at every step in their manufacturing process to be environmentally friendly. Proud of their, “Leggings made from ocean plastic,” all products are made from plastic bottle recycling in Taiwan. To be transparent, Girlfriend Collective explains the entire process on their website. There are so many reasons we like what this brand stands for, but with their super soft fabric, you would never know that it was once floating around in our natural resources.

It’s what consumers are expecting–alignment with their own values. Doing good for the betterment of tomorrow. With so many unique avenues by which companies can do their part to make a difference today, there’s no reason not to hold brands to the highest standard.

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A collection of insights research and observations across retail, restaurant, c-store and grocery. Helping brands provide a better experience for their customers. Enjoy.

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