Consumers care more about the environment and are taking an increasing interest in the footprint that their favourite brands create. Conversations about ethical shopping are on the rise, especially among younger consumers, and there is a general migration towards brands who build environmentalism into their ethos. According to a recent survey, 69% say it is important or very important that retailers have good environmental credentials – and 49% will even pay more if a brand is environmentally friendly.
Sustainability has never been more top of mind for brands, merchants and consumers. But how brands communicate their environmental initiatives to shoppers will be critical in a post-pandemic world. 2021 is a fresh start for the retail industry and brands all over the world are strategizing on how to bounce back from a challenging, transformative year. However, the climate emergency continues to accelerate, and to maintain high brand loyalty and shopper engagement, sustainability efforts need to remain a core focus in brands’ strategies.
Circular economy has become an extremely popular term in recent years. It is seen as the solution to the ongoing global environmental crisis, which is more severe than the pandemic and sometimes plays second fiddle to other global matters. As its name suggests, this type of economy requires a continuous system of production and reuse of resources and waste that can be used in many fields, from the fashionable food industry and the automotive to the energy one. Initiatives in this regard already exist, albeit on a small or medium scale.
Newsweek Green Rankings is one of the world's foremost corporate environmental rankings. The project ranks the 500 largest publicly-traded companies in the United States (the U.S. 500) and the 500 largest publicly-traded companies globally (the Global 500) on overall environmental performance. The U.S. 500 consists of the 500 largest publicly-traded companies headquartered in the U.S. by market capitalization as at 31 December 2013. The Global 500 consists of the 500 largest publicly-traded companies in the world by market capitalization as at 31 December 2013.
Fair Trade & Ethical Clothing Brands On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza tragedy killed over 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh and wounded over 2,200 more. The incident left consumers all over the world questioning who makes the clothes we wear every day and in what kind of conditions? Documentaries like ’The True Cost’ shine a light on how the fast fashion industry depletes the earth’s resources and leverages slave labor to pass on a "cheap" cost to the end consumer. “Who makes the clothing we wear every day and in what conditions?” As consumers, we’ve become increasingly conscious about our purchases, channeling the power of our vocalized objections to make a positive difference for the people involved in the making of our clothes and goods. Now, eight years after the Rana Plaza tragedy, dozens of slow fashion brands have emerged that are dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices. The 35 companies we have listed below are some of our favorite ethical alternatives to fast fashion companies. Each one has made it a central part of its mission to approach fashion in an ethical and transparent way that considers both people and the planet.
On the surface, there has seemingly never been a better time to launch a sustainable offering. Consumers — particularly millennials — increasingly say they want brands that embrace purpose and sustainability. Indeed, one recent report revealed that certain categories of products with sustainability claims showed twice the growth of their traditional counterparts. Yet a frustrating paradox remains at the heart of green business: few consumers who report positive attitudes toward eco-friendly products and services follow through with their wallets. In one recent survey 65% said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, yet only about 26% actually do so.
Climate change can be overwhelming. The science is complex, and when it comes to future impacts, there are still a lot of unknowns. While real solutions will require action on a global scale, there are choices you can make in your day-to-day life to lessen your personal impact on the environment. This guide will walk you through some of them. A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that come from the production, use and end-of-life of a product or service. It includes carbon dioxide — the gas most commonly emitted by humans — and others, including methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming. Usually, the bulk of an individual’s carbon footprint will come from transportation, housing and food.
Innovation in technologies and how they are applied are key to enabling industry to create new business values while also benefiting people and the planet. In recent years, manufacturing companies have been upgrading their efforts towards sustainable manufacturing from pollution prevention to integrated approaches that take into account product lifecycles and wider impacts. Eco-innovation helps to enable this evolution through a combination of technological and non-technological changes that can yield substantial environmental improvements. The current economic crisis and climate change negotiations should be taken as a great opportunity to move towards a green economy by accelerating eco-innovation
How to manage the details of impact retail to serve your greater vision How can impact retailers afford to incorporate global supply chains, sustainable packaging, and corporate social responsibility in ways that help their businesses grow while reflecting their ethical standards? The answer: when it comes to competitive edge, new studies from NYU’s Center for Sustainable Business show that sustainability is king. The real question, then, is how to build—or shift—your e-commerce business to embrace the socially-conscious and environmentally-friendly practices that will position you for growth and success in the years to come. The Foundation: An Ethical Supply Chain As impact retail takes hold, companies embracing ethical practices attract more customers—and are also subject to greater scrutiny. Consumers are more attentive to the sourcing and labor that bring products to their doors. Maintaining an ethical supply chain is key. Two major concerns in this area are employing fair labor practices and the ethical sourcing of raw materials to protect natural resources. Transparency throughout global supply chains can seem daunting but is possible.
A recent survey of 6,000 consumers in North America, Europe, and Asia found that 80% of participants felt it was “important or extremely important” for companies to design environmentally conscious products. Moreover, 72% said they buy more environmentally friendly products than five years ago, and 81% said they expected to purchase more over the next five years. Ecommerce merchants can court this changing shopper base and create a positive impact by making their businesses more sustainable. Consider posting a statement about your focus on ethical and sustainable practices on the “About Us” page. Reduce packaging, shift to an eco-friendly shipping program, and create an optional carbon offset charge at checkout. Develop recycling policies and channels to resell your used merchandise. And partner with brands that have ethical and sustainable models. Here is a list of sustainable ecommerce sites, for inspiration. These sites create change through environmental, economic, and social action and awareness.