In today’s marketplace, sustainability has gone from being a choice to a business imperative. Consumers are increasingly aware of the impacts of their personal choices and as a result, are choosing to purchase from companies that are taking meaningful steps to reduce their emissions, cut waste and support their communities to take action. For their part, leading organizations in the space see environmental initiatives as a competitive advantage and are embracing them as opportunities to create better products, streamline their operations and deliver value at every stage. While these pro-climate strategies tend to require greater upfront investment, over their lifetime they have the potential to deliver exponential returns through revenue associated with increased sales and new business models.
Within our latest research, the PSFK team has seen a diverse range of businesses from apparel and home goods to grocery and electronics prioritizing sustainability efforts that create new touchpoints and extend their ‘permission to play’ well beyond the point of purchase. The circular mindset and approach views both the product and the customer relationship as a continuous lifecycle with shared responsibility throughout. Practically speaking, this translates into companies using education to help customers adopt better behaviors and take incremental actions to achieve larger collective results and finding innovative ways to keep both products and their packaging in circulation longer to reverse the course of our disposal culture. Read on to discover eight key trends brought to life my progressive examples from leading organizations.
Published May, 2021
Developing new appliances that directly replenish and deliver products to the consumer or letting customers bring reusable containers to purchase and refill products, eliminating the need for single-use packaging. This also encompasses creating a responsible supply chain with tools that provide monitoring and increase protection for workers, ensuring an ethical journey from source to store.Optimized Ownership
Ensuring customers get the most out of a purchase by offering access to educational resources, content and related servicesValue Added Service
Offering complementary services and personalized interactions like repairs or educational support that extend the role a brand can play in customers’ broader lifestyles and integrate a product or brand into their daily lives. This also incorporates turning physical outposts into service hubs, leaving the transaction to ecommerce.
Ikea Canada, along with top chefs Adrian Forte, Craig Wong and Trevor Bird, has released a cookbook, “Ikea Scrapsbook”, which features 50 recipes that use only kitchen scraps as ingredients. Developed to help consumers reduce food waste, the cookbook details multiple ways everyday chefs can repurpose items like corn husks, banana peels, fruit rinds and overripe vegetables into new meals. Available to download online for free, members of Ikea’s loyalty program were offered access to 300 printed copies. To further support the cookbook and encourage participation, Ikea created a series of cooking tutorials on Instagram Live, which were hosted by the contributing chefs.The RealReal Chicago Flagship Store Showcases Repair / Upcycling Services
Luxury resale brand, The RealReal, has recently opened a flagship store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile that puts the brand repair service experts on display. On site services include watch repair, custom tailoring, apparel repairs and more. The store also features gemologists, handbag experts, resale specialists and valuation managers to provide insights into resale values.Ulta Beauty Offers Reusable Packaging In Partnership With Loop
Global reuse platform, Loop, has partnered with Ulta Beauty, the largest beauty retailer in the U.S., to launch a program that allows shoppers to purchase beauty and personal care products delivered in reusable packaging. Loop shoppers pay a deposit on each package, which is refunded after the product is returned. Shoppers simply use the product, place the empty containers in a provided package, and schedule a free pickup with the online platform. Eligible brands currently include Burt’s Bees, Plaine Products and Mad Hippie, with a number of other name brands to follow.