By Nicolas Garrelly, Sustainability Manager at tcc
28% of consumers have stopped buying certain products due to ethical or environmental concerns. And whilst individual reasoning behind sustainable purchases varies from person to person, consumers are sending a message to retailers – they need to have a clear idea of what their shoppers want. Or in the case of the environment, what they don’t want: harmful, unsustainable materials.
By understanding the varied reasoning behind sustainable choices, retailers get a clearer view of appropriate ways to evolve and get creative with the materials they use.
For instance, we’ve seen steps taken in plant-based and bio-based materials that are made not from fossil petroleum feedstock, but from plants. They carry some limitations, but with efforts and cooperation between material suppliers, factories and designers, tcc has been able to create some remarkable products that were previously made from virgin fossil based plastics. Our Treelingz brand of educational toys showcase the importance of trees in our ecosystem and was the first to integrate a whole collection made from 100% plant based materials that were previously made from virgin fossil based plastics.
When it comes to using more sustainable, health-conscious materials, the first thing we tend to think of is packaging. We’ve seen retailers of all kinds significantly reduce the amount of packaging they use for individual products, working with factories to change the whole chain of production, evaluating and creating packaging solutions that have less impact on the environment. And (for the most part) the days of wrapping items up in layers of single-use plastic are gone. Conscious retailers will only use what is absolutely necessary.
Consumers are increasingly aware of their consumption and the global impact on the environment that consumerism is having. If retailers take the lead in the sustainability effort, it is likely that consumers will support their effort, building lasting relationships with the retailer.