One out of three consumers reports that they prefer eco-friendly brands and options. Increasingly environmentally conscious businesses are among the 2022 trends for local retail. With this shift comes a renewed effort towards long-term sustainability and the integration of reusable resources in businesses across the country. Going green is a noble endeavor for the aspiring sustainable business and does not happen overnight. This arduous process also looks different for every brand and business module, so it is essential to stay open-minded.
Use Sustainable Products
If you are in the business of creating tangible products, it is imperative to analyze the materials used in the process. Are your supplies sourced sustainably? If you want to go green and be seen as a sustainable brand, your products need to be ethically sourced and developed. Brands such as Pact and Kotn utilize fair trade cotton in their clothing, which combats the fast fashion industry through sustainable sourcing. Implementing eco-friendly business practices in production is also an excellent marketing point that creates a more enticing brand.
Additionally, aim to go as paperless as possible in the office. Though digitization may feel as though you are becoming a slave to the virtual universe, it also helps reduce paper waste. Your office storage space will thank you once you transfer all documents and data into the notorious Cloud.
Recycle and Compost Regularly
As you strive to meet your ever-increasing demand, there is bound to be excess material. Make recycling and composting a regular practice in the office and production space to eliminate waste. If you already utilize materials that break down quickly, then recycling and composting will not be an issue.
Establish a Green Shipping Processes
Greening up your company shipping process is certainly a sustainability essential for businesses. This shift affects all future orders, and in the long term, makes a significant impact on your environmental footprint. Ship your products using recycled materials and smaller boxes to reduce the number of shipping materials needed. Avoid using hazardous package fillers like styrofoam, and opt for biodegradable fillers or fibrous blocking materials. Utilizing greener transportation is another way to create a more sustainable shipping process. Opt for air cargo shipping as opposed to truck shipping for faster delivery with fewer pollutants.
Reuse Inventory and Offer Buyback Options
The idea of reusing inventory as an act of sustainability is often overlooked but is an extremely valuable practice. What you do with your surplus and returned products matters. Some of the best eco-friendly companies, such as Patagonia and REI, are known for their “yard sales” in which they sell their overstocked and returned products at a discounted price. This modem allows customers to enjoy the same products, albeit lightly used, with less cost to them. Buyback programs are another green business strategy that is worth implementing into your sale structure. This system allows consumers to exchange their used products for store credit or cash. As a retailer, you have the option of reserving a section of merchandise for secondhand, discounted, items.