As retail shifts into a new normal following the Covid-19 pandemic, one trend has remained clear – consumers are purposefully seeking out brands and retailers that align with their own ethics and beliefs. In particular, commitments to sustainability, diversity and inclusion and conscious leadership have provided significant paths for companies to connect with consumers.
Serving these values positively impacts the company, its people and the entire value chain for the consumer and can also become a critical part of the company’s brand identity and marketing.
Here’s how these brands and retailers, who will be speaking at eCommerce Expo’s virtual event this May, live their mission every day, in every aspect of their business.
Sustainability and Circular Business Models
Many companies are realizing that recognizing the principles of the circular economy (reduce, reuse, refurbish, repair and recycle) are key to continued consumer connection and business growth. Goodfair entered the market in 2018 with an entirely new way to look at thrifting. Introducing both the concepts of mystery bundles and ecommerce thrift, Goodfair has delivered on its marketing position of #nonewthings. By bringing thrift shopping online, and shifting the clothing donation surplus back to market, founder Topper Luciani is reducing consumers’ carbon footprints and creating a loyal following among Gen Z who are pushing the fashion industry towards more sustainable practices.
A company fighting the perception that high sustainability and high performance cannot live hand in hand is On. Born in the Swiss Alps, the inventive running shoe and apparel brand has embedded sustainability into company values. Every team member contributes to the company’s sustainability goals – leading to increased innovation and performance across the product line.
ADAY began with the singular focus of simplifying our wardrobe, which led to a the creation of a new standard for clothing that lets consumers do more with less in a way that is always conscious. That means clothing that is technical and high-quality, seasonless to be versatile and highly usable and sustainable. All those details combine to create a clothing line that means consumers buy fewer things, while the products they purchase provide much better and longer function.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The time has come for all retailers and brands to take action on racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Consumers have higher expectations than ever before, as this powerful movement continues to shape every aspect of culture. Leading the charge are fast growing indie beauty brands like Geenie. Founder Chana Ginelle Ewing is building a beauty community around values-aligned purchasing. Centered on BIPOC, queer and women-owned indie brands, the goal is to provide the intentioned consumer a marketplace that represents founders from a diverse spectrum of backgrounds who offer inclusive, sustainable and culturally-impactful products. Co-founder and CEO of Wander Beauty, Divya Gugnani has made transparency and open-dialogue with customers a priority in her brand. With a belief that companies should be having the same conversations with their customers that their customers are having at home – Wander Beauty has tried to take an active role by sharing where it stands as well as sharing plans to improve its DEI programs and policies. Customers in turn have continued to ask for honesty and transparency from the brand – which it has not shied away from providing.
The origins of skincare brand Topicals were rooted in founder Olamide Olowe challenges growing up to find inclusive skincare products and treatment for her own skin concerns. When she and co-founder Claudia Teng decided to create their own solution, they first built a community where they identified many who shared similar experiences. Seventy five percent of dermatology clinical trial participants are white, meaning many products on the market aren’t designed for darker skin tones and can even be damaging. By beginning with community, Topicals has ensured that its product development is not only inclusive, but customer led.
What is conscious leadership? Above all the concept of conscious leadership focuses on building a culture of “we” rather than a culture of “me”. This requires leadership to be radically responsible, highly self-aware and open to the growth and impact of their most valuable asset - their team.
Modern and sustainable bed linen brand Ettitude is changing the way consumers think about luxury linen with their 100% organic bamboo lyocell sheets. But beyond the product, founder Phoebe Yu is committing to creating a company packed with collaborative innovators who feel connected to the mission of the brand. Employees are encouraged to have autonomy in their projects and to seek out and learn about new developments in their industry. In addition, the brand is commitment to mission and purpose and gives back to organizations important to the team. For the Australian based business that has recently included the National Movement for Black Lives, One Girl, 1% For The Planet and Climate Neutral, as well as supporting organizations assisting with the recovery after the Australian bushfire crisis.
Would you like to hear the behind the scene stories and connect directly with the founders and leadership of these brands and more like them? Register for free to attend eCommerce Expo US – taking place May 18-20 – virtually.