If becoming more sustainable is a top priority for your brand, you’ll no doubt be interested in hearing about the innovative sustainability initiatives others are introducing.
Seeing what other brands are doing to make a positive impact can inspire you to launch new sustainability initiatives of your own (while observing their sustainability fails can help you avoid making the same mistakes!). To provide you with some fresh inspiration, we asked seven brand leaders to share their eco ideas with us.
Read on to find out how brands operating in furniture, fashion, food, skincare and luggage are moving away from being a part of the problem in order to become part of the solution.
“What innovative sustainability initiatives have
your brand introduced?“
President @ Dr. Bronner’s
“At Dr. Bronner’s, our sustainability initiatives include working closely with thousands of smallholder farmers in Ghana, India, Palestine, Samoa, and Sri Lanka, to implement regenerative organic agriculture, a process which combats the damage done to soil systems by industrial agriculture. This system of farming principles and practices, such as minimal tillage, diverse crop rotation, composting, and cover cropping, sequesters huge amounts of excess carbon from the atmosphere and brings it back into healthy soil in the form of stable organic matter.
This is one of the most significant steps we can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help to mitigate and combat climate change, along with reforestation and not burning fossil fuels. We’re really proud to work with our suppliers and their farmers worldwide to improve their livelihoods while simultaneously regenerating soil and are currently working to develop a Regenerative Organic Certified standard that manufacturers and producers can use to certify ingredients as regenerative organic.”
Co-Founder @ Griddle Pancakes
“There is a lot of pressure from buyers and customers to have plastic-free degradable packaging, but insight into the feasibility of this is rarely highlighted outside the industry. It’s a fact that, economically, it’s just not viable for many small companies to make the changes they want. New packaging requires new machinery, a cost which the company would have to cover, not the factory. And customers are rarely happy to pay the extra margin.
At Griddle, we started by trying to control the things we could; our manufacturer. We moved factory at the beginning of 2019 from Cornwall to Belgium so we could work with a family-owned site which is entirely run off renewable energy. We chose suppliers for our ingredients where we knew the provenance. And we use materials in our packaging that can be recycled.
This may sound great but we are still far from our optimal goal. We want to remove plastic from our range completely and we are constantly looking at ways to achieve this.”
Director of B2B EMEA @ Targus
“With the Cypress EcoSmart range of bags, Targus is moving further along on its sustainability journey. Made from recycled components, the new Cypress EcoSmart Collection is certified by Global Recycled Standard (GRS) and aims to reduce the number of plastic bottles destined for landfills by utilising them in the bag production. The bottles are cleaned, flaked, re-polymerised and spun into fibre that is woven into the fabric that is used for the bags.
Taking up the green torch is a major focus for corporations now and using recycled materials is one way of doing this. Obviously, in terms of costs, sometimes this is not a commercially viable option. However, the negative impact of unsustainable consumer trends is being felt keenly around the world. A corresponding customer demand for high-quality, eco-friendly products means companies can now move confidently into the increasingly popular sustainability space.”
Owner @ Room to Grow
“As specialists in kids’ bunk beds, we’re passionate about implementing core changes within the home furnishings industry by carefully selecting manufacturers whose factories source timber from PEFC and FSC certified forests. This means our forests are protected through sustainable forest management ensuring they will be around for generations to come. Other sustainability initiatives include working with our suppliers to provide recyclable packaging with an aim to remove all plastic and polystyrene by 2023.”
Co-Founder @ Made to Last
“At Made to Last we are focused on helping people to shop more sustainably for the long term through buying products that last well. Everything we sell has a clear price and, next to it, a guarantee length. That way people can better understand the value for money. I think that consumers have been trained to look for bargains and this means that we fixate on price without considering the materials and manufacturing in detail. Product guarantees are a way of simplifying this and this is why we use them as one of our sustainability initiatives.
“For each customer that buys one of our products in favour of a poorer quality one, we know that the planet’s resources will be used more slowly. However, we are far from perfect – for example, our own brand upholstery items are often wrapped in polythene for delivery. I am speaking to a company to see if we can adapt their sugar cane-based wrap to work for upholstery items but we’re not there yet.”
PR Manager @ Maxwell-Scott
“As the negative environmental impact of fast-fashion consumer behaviour is becoming increasingly clear, we at Maxwell-Scott have decided to take a definitive stand. From the beginning, we have offered a 25-year warranty on all of our products to encourage our customers to treat their purchases as investments rather than fast-fashion shopping items.
But we have decided to go even further now and we have launched a sustainability promise for the coming decade that focuses on every stage of our supply chain. The positive impact these measures will have on the environment is immense. For instance, we have committed to halving our use of paper by 2022 and completely eliminating plastic by 2025. With these sustainability initiatives, we hope to encourage other brands in the fashion industry to work towards a more sustainable future too.”
Managing Director @ Sofas By Saxon
“All our furniture is British made. This helps to reduce transport mileage, so our UK customers can rest assured that anything they purchase from us comes with a reduced carbon footprint. We have even started offering a vegan leather option through our bespoke sofa making service, for customers who are looking to avoid animal products.
We also choose to make each piece by hand over mass production. We believe this adds uniqueness and ensures attention to detail for every sofa, armchair or footstool we create — even our buttons and studs are individually hand-tacked!”
You’ve seen how brands are introducing innovative sustainability initiatives, but what steps are consumers taking to be more environmentally friendly? Download the report below to learn about changing consumer behaviour in the food and drink industry.