There's a long road ahead of the retail industry when it comes to sustainability. Each step in the retail chain — sourcing, manufacturing, packaging and transportation — has a potential impact on the environment. And the industry was not historically the best actor.
That has started to change, with many brands and retailers making concentrated efforts to implement sustainable practices or, in the case of startups, to build their businesses with the environment in mind.
From retailers like Patagonia, which depends on a loyal base of customers looking to buy from sustainable brands, to big-box players like Walmart and Target, which are starting to recognize the benefits of a sustainable business model, the environment has become a hot topic in the retail industry — and one that consumers are more concerned about too.
That's why this Earth Day we took a deep dive into a few of the topics retailers are concerned about. So whether you're interested in climate change or furniture rentals, sit back and enjoy a good read (or two) about retailers and how they impact the planet.
Clouds on the horizon: What climate change means for retail
From supply chains to marketing, weather-related changes have impacted how retailers do business.
Uncontained: The complex link between retail and packaging
Retailers are aware that the environmental impact of packaging is weighing on consumers' minds. But, it's not just about getting rid of plastic.
True blue: Denim has to change to save the planet
The classic American blue jean may be the world's most beloved fabric, and innovations are helping produce it more sustainably.
- Circular Economy
Temporary living: The rise of furniture rental
Consumers are less concerned about putting down roots. Is rented furniture the solution?
For the birds: This DTC brand is flying high on sustainable wings
Allbirds co-founder Tim Brown runs a business built on environmentally friendly materials, but he says it's really all about great shoes.
Conversational Commerce: How one digitally native brand baked sustainability into its DNA
A sustainability focus doesn't have to come at a cost of profitability, says Grove Collaborative founder and CEO Stu Landesberg.