Boutique Magazine December 2021

Page 56

DOWN TO BUSINESS

7 Ways to become more sustainable OPERATING A GREENER BUSINESS IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT FOR RETAILERS. HERE’S HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS IN 2022

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n the aftermath of COP26, ‘sustainability’ is no longer just a buzzword. As fashion brands are working hard to minimise water and textile waste, retailers will also need to satisfy customers that they are operating as sustainably as possible. And it’s also becoming more important than ever to help shoppers take responsibility to re-use and recycle the clothes they buy too. Becoming more sustainable isn’t easy – and it won’t happen overnight. But as long as indies make efforts to reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint, it will all go towards creating a more environmentally-friendly industry. Here are our top tips for operating a more sustainable boutique…

1. Use green suppliers

The sustainability movement has reached the mainstream. Most suppliers that work with boutiques are ramping up their environmental efforts, whether that’s using organic 56 | boutique. | DECEMBER 2021

cotton and recycled PET fabrics or overhauling their entire production process. “For any business owner looking to be more sustainable, pivoting operations to reduce carbon emissions is imperative,” says Ian Hambleton, co-founder of Ecologi. “For indies, this can be achieved by choosing more sustainable suppliers that use recycled materials and greening supply chains by working with local and ethical manufacturers.” This is also true for other companies that may be supplying your business: “Retailers can also use renewable energy to power premises, adopt green web-hosting and sustainable search engines, and use ethical and ecoconscious banks,” Hambleton adds.

2. And greener couriers

Certain fulfilment partners also offer options to offset carbon emissions, which can be a great way to improve your sustainability

status. Enda Breslin, EMEA at global logistics platform ShipBob (uk.shipbob.com), explains: “This is an area small retailers should consider, as it’s a fantastic way to drive your own sustainability targets by making use of a larger network with existing connections to offsetting companies. For example, we partner with datadriven offsetting firm Pachama and this has proven popular with the brands we work with, enabling them to match the total carbon impact of their delivery distances with a treeplanting initiative.”

3. Minimise return rates

Returns are bad for the environment, with estimates suggesting they’re responsible for 20-25 per cent of a fashion retailer’s environmental impact. With 70 per cent of returns caused by size and fit, the best way to reduce rates is to help shoppers buy clothes that fit. “One easy step


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