ATLANTA, GA / ACCESSWIRE / August 17, 2020 / Ethical consumerism is by no means a new concept. For the past 20 years, there has been a shift in the public’s opinion towards retail shopping. This has been largely due to the rise of environmental and social issues around the world such as global warming, animal welfare and human rights, among other issues and concerns. As a result, there continues to be a growing importance and value placed on honest labor and transparency to prove that goods are ethically sourced, ethically made, and ethically distributed.
“There’s a perpetual evolution in the consumer’s expectations regarding responsible and ethical shopping,” said Deepak “Dee” Agarwal, C-Suite executive and retail industry leader. “In the pursuit of achieving more responsible consumption, people are leaning towards brands that reflect deep care about the wellness of society and the environment, even if that sometimes means spending more on it.”
In an increasingly interconnected world, there is growing normalcy in a sustainability-first approach, with more consumers showing willingness to pay a fair price for ethically sourced products. According to a Lightspeed 2020 Retail Trend Report, “around 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods that are manufactured with the environment in mind.”
Certainly, when society, organizations and consumers push for more sustainable and ethical practices, companies take notice and begin to address various aspects of their business, from their supply chain to product development to their marketing strategies. As the focus on sustainability grows, the following are three ethical trends poised to both impact and direct the retail industry.
Trend #1: Recycling and Packaging
Single use-plastic or disposable plastics are often intended to be used only once before being thrown away or recycled and are most commonly used for business-to-consumer packaging products. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reported that nearly 50% of the plastic waste generated globally in 2015 was from plastic packaging.
While some companies will thrive on the ability to resale and recycle, like Thredup, an online thrifting and consignment destination, others are looking to reduce their impact through new approaches to packaging. For example, Ethique, a beauty brand, has been celebrated as the first zero-waste beauty retailer, as it has eliminated bottles for things such as shampoo and conditioner and ships products in compostable packaging.
Trend #2: The Rise of Veganism
Ethical veganism goes far beyond the mainstream trend of plant-based diets and strives to minimize animal cruelty by not relying on animal products of any form or fashion. A few years ago, PETA exposed the practice of dog slaughter to produce leather gloves in China. This led many companies and leaders to take action, including Deepak Agarwal, who made the swift decision to immediately remove the sale of leather gloves and other animal-derived products from his online retailer, Choxi.com.
Trend #3: Order Fulfillment Going Green
Understandably, e-commerce businesses do their best to ensure their goods get delivered safely. However, the delivery process in and of itself can create negative impacts to the environment. In response, e-commerce giants like Amazon and UPS have taken action to cut their carbon footprint by investing heavily in vehicles that use eco-friendly fuels to fulfill their deliveries in a greener fashion.
“Each of these trends are already answering the calls for change from more ethical consumers,” said Dee Agarwal. “And as many of the businesses have learned, and I experienced directly, doing right by society and considering the welfare of animals and others is essential to building a business that consumers can believe in and feel good about supporting.”
For more expert business guidance from Deepak Agarwal, read Top 5 Tips from Deepak Agarwal to Master Social Media in Online Retail.
SOURCE: Deepak Agarwal
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