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This PSFK Guide is a sustainability in retail report on strategies to unlock new opportunities & competitive differentiation through a strengthened relationship with customers – and the planet.
As consumer education around climate science and their concerns for the impact of the products they use grows, shoppers are increasingly favoring retailers with sustainable offerings over those whose products and business models are more harmful to the environment, or who fail to take climate action and set sustainability goals. Brands and retailers are meeting this behavioral shift by embracing sustainable business practices across every element of the product journey, finding that their positive impact can drive efficiencies and secure long-term value and customer loyalty.
From source to sale and beyond, a diverse range of companies across sectors are prioritizing product-based sustainability efforts to unlock new opportunities and drive competitive differentiation through a strengthened relationship with both their customers and the planet. To help our members better understand this increasingly complex and important space, the PSFK iQ research team has identified six key strategies driving innovations in sustainable retail, bringing them to life with recent examples from the marketplace.
To help our members better understand this increasingly complex and important space, the PSFK iQ team has identified six key strategies behind innovations in sustainable retail, bringing them to life with recent examples from the marketplace.
This sustainability in retail report includes:
This sustainability in retail report was developed by the same PSFK research department that since 2004 has provided trends-led innovation consulting advice to Apple, BMW, Facebook/Meta, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Volkswagen.
Secondhand retail was once the domain of thrift stores, boutique consignment shops or peer-to-peer sales but consumer interest in vintage shopping, rentals and other models has encouraged retailers to resell their own products directly. Retailers creating new ‘circular-economy’ programs to take back lightly-used items from customers (often offering a credit or reward in exchange) and cleaning and refurbishing a curated selection of those items to be resold in-store or online for a discounted price.High-Yield Low-Impact Sourcing
As brands look to source more sustainable materials for use within their products and packaging, many are seeking alternatives not from nature but from science. In much the same way that meat and dairy substitutes are being engineered, companies are turning to lab-grown replacements for a range of materials from textiles and leathers to cement and insulation. By creating novel and necessary components under controlled conditions, these processes can produce greater yields with less variance,...Post-Ownership Pre-Design
As conversations around sustainability, eco-conscious practices and climate continue to grow in importance, leading brands and retailers are considering the post-purchase impact of their products. Particularly within hard good categories like home furnishings and consumer electronics the gated and linear approach that focused on single ownership, cost-prohibitive repairs and planned obsolescence is being replaced by a more open and modular approach. Under this new circular model, companies are considering product designs and aftermarket processes to...
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