Shall we see a big sustainable change in 2022?
Welcome to "nouveau monde", your "nouveau genre" (see, we even create new words) newsletter to better understand how to make the world better through the lens of retail. This is #36
Happy New and Sustainable Year folks!
Back in business for nouveau monde we talk about things that matter and sustainable startups in apparel.
Things move fast in retail and sustainability, we’re really happy to help you get the right tips and be inspired !
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Today's newsletter is 847 words, a 4-minute read.
Nothing as it seems
If you know me a bit, you know that if I recently founded Mestawet, it's because I'm convinced that if we want to change things and start to do good fast, the best way to do it is to make companies shift to a more positive impact. They have the power, the money, the creativity, their workforce pushing for it and often their customers urging them to do so !
But, the customer side is often difficult to embrace and understand. The main problem is that when you ask a customer if he wants things to change, he answers Yes, of course but when you look at how he behaves, it's a little bit more complicated. One reason is that we all are full of good intentions, want to tell a nice story about us but the truth is often different (see Instagram vs reality :-) )
The second problem is that, well, we often simply don't know what to do, what truly has impact in our lives. And we often end up doing things not really knowing if it is really good. Are you certain that this Tesla you just bought is better for the planet than the old gas car you had ? What is the impact of sorting waste in a climate perspective ? I don't really know myself...
So when I came into this article and podcasts by Quartz Obsession this morning, it really hit me that we always need to do a step aside in the way we see what happens to be normal nowadays.
Two exemples taken by Quartz : oat milk and business class, two tiny subjects in our everyday life (well, for business class, pre pandemic and for a certain kind of people...)
Oat milk vs dairy milk
Do you know which one is best for climate ? And for your diet balance ? Well, first, I'm pleased to write in English in this newsletter otherwise I wouldn't be allowed to talk about milk for a plant based drink in Europe. Yep ! The dairy lobby made it forbidden to talk about milk if it doesn't come from an animal... So we have to buy "Oat drinks" here in France... which in our mind certainly doesn't have the same effect ! And, to answer the question, yes plant based milk, especially oat milk, are better for the environment, it uses less land, less water and less cows !
Let's talk about business class in airplanes now. I've been traveling a lot in a short period of my life and the policy was to travel economy class, which was fine with me. I traveled only once in Business, and didn't realize the impact it had compared to the economy class. And this podcast by Quartz made it really clear to me that this specific topic really is complex and has a kind of systemic impact. Let's deep dive a bit :
First, you have to understand that when you travel in business, you take more space in the plane, you often have more luggage, as if you are allowed to do so, you do it. You have better meals, drinks, you often get gifts... all of this make your flight more impactful even if you travel the same distance as the guys packing in the back of the plane.
But what's really interesting is when you take this step aside. Because, the first thing you could do is to buy a ticket in economy and leave the Business empty. You would be proud to make an effort for the planet, especially if your knees are crushed in the seat in front of you. Sacrifice. With a very low impact as the plane will consume about the same kerosene...
You will have impact if you really change things, take time to analyze how you could make things differently.
So, step one was to travel economy without changing airline.
Step two would be to choose to travel with companies that just offer economy seats, therefore that will maximize passengers per flight.
Step three ? Could you use a different transportation mode ? Take a train for instance...
Step four ? Do you really need to move ? 😀
The pandemic made us aware that we can change habits quickly and in that case, stop traveling overnight. What else can we change overnight ? We have millions of habits, of mental models, that need to be broken, thought about.
I still think companies are the best way to change our societies, but they need the impulse by consumers, that need to be aware of the right things to do. Companies have this data and need to share it to make a positive loop.
The last good news of a year for a startup making the B&M more sustainable
On average, says a blogpost on Internet a year and a half ago, consumers were throwing away 60% on their clothes in the first year. In 2020 an estimated 18.6 million tonnes of clothing will end up in a landfill. The Ellen Macarthur Foundation, a Think Tank that develops and promote the idea of a circular economy, reported that if this trend continues, over 150 million tonnes of clothing waste will clog landfills by 2050.
85% of our clothes end up in landfills or are burned. Furthermore, it is estimated that the average American throws away about 37kg/81 pounds of clothes every year… the weight of an 11-year-old child!
Every second, the equivalent of a rubbish truck load of clothes is burnt or buried in a landfill.
This is depressive. Reading about the apparel industry is scary. Seeing some kid of pictures about is…
The situation has to be changed drastically. The whole business has to be transformed, unless shareholders only matter for you.
Where to start? Let’s be pragmatic. Supply chain it is. Planning ordering. Quantity matters.
I found it!
Founded in 2019 by Madeline Parra and John Talbott, between North Carolina and London, Purple Dot is revolutionizing the way the world shops, so that customers and merchants get more for what they have. For customers, it’s a chance for a good deal on a desirable product. For retailers, it’s an intelligent way of moving stock and managing pricing. For both, it’s the smart future of shopping.
"It allows e-commerce businesses the ability to “sell inventory earlier as a way to maximize sales, build brand loyalty, and access demand data earlier.” Purple Dot’s waitlist solution allows inventory to be sold before it arrives in the warehouse. The startup claims it’s the only solution of its type available in the market.” says Techcrunch, mentioning a $4 million early-stage funding round led by U.S.-based Unusual Ventures “that leads pre-seed to Series A investments in enterprise software and marketplaces, supporting founders from idea to IPO”. Be ready Komrades.
Purple Dot recently announced a partnership with Hylo, a movement of Athletes for Planet, using materials science to make performance products in a better way.
Let’s do it guys. Step by step, but fast. Don’t think of some kind plastic surgery…because WE DON’T WANT PLASTIC NEITHER. Think big!
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On Twitter: https://twitter.com/PurpleDotPrice
Bonus track by Anthony
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