When the global pandemic hit, sustainability took a back seat for many retailers as they were forced to adapt their supply chain practices amid virus transmission concerns. But just because brands have had to adopt new ways of working doesn’t mean consumer sentiment towards sustainability has changed. According to Tryzens consumer insights from late 2019, 83% of UK consumers and 84% of ANZ consumers expected the brands they shopped with to have sustainable practices. Furthermore, 58% in both regions said that they would pay more to shop with those that did.
On a global level, it has been found that consumers find value in sustainable practices at an increasing rate and it is well established that creating sustainable practices in a business is more of an opportunity than a threat, allowing companies to be more competitive, resilient, nimbler and attract the best employees and more customers.
With sustainability being such an important win-win-win for businesses, customers, and the planet, we wanted to celebrate the amazing initiatives and achievements of brands in sustainability sphere.
Global fashion brand Cotton On run a whole raft of environmental and social programmes via their Doing Good & Cotton On Foundation initiatives. All Cotton On brands working in partnership with the Better Cotton Initiative, run by Cotton Australia, are aiming for 100% sustainable cotton use in all their products in 2021. Through committed long-term partnerships with their suppliers, Cotton On are currently sourcing 80% of their cotton from sustainable sources. In fact, all Cotton On denim already supports sustainably sourced cotton with cotton recycling programmes in place and ready to be expanded, helping to divert textiles from landfill.
They have also managed to vastly reduce their plastic use, eliminating 38 million plastic shopping bags in 2019. This amazing achievement is possible by offering paper bags made from 80% recycled material. In addition, they are aiming to have plastic bags made from 90% recycled materials available by the end of year.
You can learn more about Cotton On’s many sustainability initiatives here.
In an effort to help divert some of the millions of tonnes of clothing that end up in landfill globally, Sweaty Betty have teamed up with I:CO, a global textile recycler to offer a legging recycling programme. Customers are encouraged to recycle any brand of leggings with them and receive a £25–voucher off a £50 shop as a reward. Since October last year, over 2000 pairs of leggings have been recycled! In addition, Sweaty Betty have also started to use recycled water bottles to make their super sculpt leggings, with over 26,000 bottles recycled to date and made into their signature style.
Learn more about Sweaty Betty’s journey to create a more sustainable future here.
Australian beauty brand Jurlique is an indusrty leader when it comes to organic and biodynamic farming to produce their products, but they also encourage their customers to be mjindful of the impact that packaging plays. In partnership with Terracycle, Jurlique encourages their customers to bring their empty containers back to store or post them for free to receive a 10% discount on their next purchase. Terracycle takes packaging to give them a second life as products like play equipment, benches and garden beds. Since initiating the programme with Terracycle in 2018, 120,000 units have been collected, diverting over 3 tonnes of waste from landfill!
Learn more about Jurlique’s biodynamic farm and connection to sustainability here.
Treasury Wine Estates have a dedicated task force to investigating the climate change situation and how the business should adapt to reduce its impact. The research findings and accompanying alterations to procedure led to significant reductions in water consumption, energy usage, carbon emissions in 2020. Goals for 2021 are to reduce these even further.
The companies New Sustainable Packaging Guidelines has also been initiated to vastly reduce packaging to minimise environmental impact of producing and transportation wine packaging, as well as waste for the end use user. They are currently achieving a mightily impressive 96.2% diversion from landfill rate.
Find out more about Treasury Wine Estates commitment to a sustainable future here.
This Australian footwear and fashion icon is forging a path towards increased sustainability by taking part in the Zero Waste Project, committing to, and successfully reducing its carbon footprint, energy usage and water consumption.
R.M Williams also held a boot upcycling exchange programme called “Reboot. Replenish”. Partnering with The World’s Biggest Garage Sale, a circular economy enterprise, the programme allowed customers to return worn but worthy boots, of any brand to get a $150 discount on a new pair. The returned R.M boots have been repaired for a future vintage line, while non RM boots were then upcycled to be resold with some of the proceeds going towards environmental and social enterprises.
You can learn more about Reboot. Replenish here.
The UK based Stationary retailer makes great efforts to reduce plastic by providing high quality information and products to customers about the value of a high-quality, durable refillable pens, thus vastly reducing the reliance of cheap disposable ball point pens, of which it is estimated many millions can be found in UK landfills.
Learn more about how Pen Heaven is encouraging customer to go plastic-free and reuse before recycling here.
A founding member of B Corp in the UK, Lily’s Kitchen is the first and only pet food company in the world to certify as a B Corporation. In their commitment to providing proper food for pets they know they need totread carefully on the planet and actively engage with their community, which is evident through their numerous philanthropic initiatives.
As part of their Acts of Goodness initiative, Lily’s Kitchen have given away 653,488 meals to cats and dogs in need at over 100 animal rescue centres which were nominated by their online community. They trace as far as possible down the supply chain, working with suppliers to reduce their energy and water consumption as well as using 100% renewable energy in their own manufacturing process. They are constantly looking at ways to improve the ethical practices within their supply chain including their packaging, which is recyclable or consists of 85% compostable or recycled material. The brand even supports ‘meat free Mondays’ for furry family members with their vegetarian and vegan recipes as a way that even the furriest members of the family can minimise their reliance on resource-heavy animal products.
Find out more about Lily’s Kitchen’s commitment to pets, people and planet here.
Heritage tea brand Whittard continues to explore new frontiers with unique, creative products, and implementing more sustainability initiatives plays a big part in their plans for future growth. They work closely with the Ethical Tea Partnership to ensure their tea gardens work to strict sustainable, ethical and socially responsible standards. In addition, they offer in-store incentives and discounts for customers who chose to bring in their refillable loose leaf tea caddy or opt to use their own cup at their tea bar.
Their making big strides towards sustainability with their packaging too, with around 80% of their product packaging is recyclable or compostable. Delivery packaging has also been updated to be 100% recyclable and also removes the need for plastic padding and is all produced using eco-friendly vegetable and water-based inks. Whittard are also rolling out any plastic in their tea bag packaging to NatureFlex – a biodegradable, compostable material made from wood pulp.
See how Whittard are turning over a new leaf in sustainability here.