By Millie Pearson, Chief Operating Officer, The Edit LDN
Sustainability. One of the biggest buzz words I hear day to day. Moving into a start-up in 2020 and being desperate to make sure we are “doing the right thing’ was daunting and overwhelming to me. I looked to companies such as Morrisons and Patagonia for inspiration, and quickly felt like a company as small as ours (at the time) with minimal profit margins didn’t stand a chance of even beginning to make an impact.
But once I dug deeper, I realised that sustainability was being overhyped and overcomplicated and set off on a path to get started. My mission was to set out to be the first in our space to start taking action on the matter, but by no means be the last.
What’s the point in figuring out the secret formula and keeping it to ourselves? As it’s said “knowledge is wealth, wisdom is treasure, understanding is riches, and ignorance is poverty.” Here are some pointers of how we got started on our sustainability agenda, and by doing so, hopefully I can give you some ideas for a starting point and share that even the smallest first steps can make a difference.
First up: “An atomic habit is a regular practice or routine that is not only small and easy to do but is also the source of incredible power, a component of the system of compound growth.” – Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Know your consumer and what will resonate with them most. Building on the values of your community that will inspire them to come along on the journey with you. It’s much better to do go far and wide than be singular focussed.
- Partnerships – You don’t need to set out at it on your own. Chances are that whatever it is you want to achieve there will already be someone who has mastered it and doing it better than you could. We partnered with Handprint on their Marine Restoration Project, taking plastic out of the oceans by donating against every sale to support our seas. After three months of A/B testing the results showed that consumers who were shown the project we were doing had a 70 per cent higher conversion rate across our website. More conversions = More donations we make to restoring the health of marine life.
- Delivery options. Consumers like to be given options so that they can make their own choice. We have partnered with multiple delivery companies who all have their own sustainability agender and eco options so that every client can have their items delivered how they want. This included same day zero emissions delivery, click and collect and next day via eco vans.
- Reducing single use. We make sure to re-use everything we possibly can. This comes down to mostly packaging. Being a marketplace, we require every item to pass through our HQ and then out to customers. Our shipping boxes to buyers have been designed to be reused multiple times. We also compress our inbound cardboard and repurpose it for protective padding that we can use for shipments of transporting stock. An example of how you can repurpose your waste.
- Driving a circular economy. Can your business encourage your audience to re-use and recycle? We have social platforms built for our brands that we can use to promote this. The era of pre-loved, vintage, pre-worn fashion has never been bigger, and this space will continue to grow to a predicted value of $50bn by 2025. Consumers are both encouraged to resell their pre worn goods for a little extra cash, whilst also engaged to look to platforms for their next thrift purchase. The Edit LDN have just launched our Circular Sneaker, Pre-Loved Market Place. This will be a platform solely (pardon the pun) for our consumers to resell their once loved sneakers and streetwear in a space which still gives their items the love and luxury that they deserve. We will be incentivising our ecologist shoppers to do so by rewarding them with shopping vouchers.
As we continue to grow as a brand, we continue to build on our sustainability mission, and the above point are just the beginning. It’s the small 1 per cent changes within your company which all add up to the bigger picture and make the greatest impact. Make changes that you can sustain and maintain rather than huge waves that disappear once the momentum finishes.