Helen Lord, the founder of Used Kitchen Exchange, explains why committing to a sustainable approach and helping consumers make more eco choices should be a prerequisite of all businesses who are looking to thrive.
Sustainability is a buzz word which has hit us at warp speed and shows no sign of slowing down. In every sector, ambitious organisations are jostling to have their eco-credentials heard without necessarily selling sustainable products or even offering eco-services.
So, how can a smaller business be heard above all this greenwashing? Is it worth the time and effort? Will it make a difference to their customers and do those customers even care? I believe that the answer to this is a firm YES!
Great businesses, large and small, look beyond just making a profit and consider other values such as environmental impact; ethical supply chains and community involvement to be of equal importance.
So, when you consider that one of societies gravest concerns is the future of our planet, it stands to reason that if we can support our customers to make more ethical choices, they are going to feel much happier and more positive about who they are buying from.
If we are selling product, we have a moral obligation to consider its wider environmental impact – it’s really that simple!
I think we have all felt good about an environmentally sound decision we have made at some time. Whether it’s driving an electric car, buying a re-usable water bottle or something as simple as just taking a little more effort with the recycling bin at home. But to be blunt, as business owners I believe we are morally obligated to consider the bigger picture as we move into 2022. Yes, as individuals we all know we should do more to protect the environment, however, as businesses, supporting our customers in making better purchasing decisions is not only a great commercial decision, I believe it is our duty!
Our most recent partnership with Quooker UK is an exemplary example of what can be achieved by a motivated business. In focusing on reducing waste by reconditioning ex display and used taps Quooker UK has completed a circular economy and are a shining example of a business taking responsibility for the lifecycle of products they have made. Moreover, this has also greatly benefited Quooker’s brand image; further enhancing its sustainability credentials and gaining national press attention as a result. They are ‘the good guys’ and have emotionally connected with the public.
People are slaves to emotion and the truth is, most purchasing decisions are made based on how we feel at the time. Emotional purchases are also made much quicker – in fact 1/5th quicker than cognitive ones, and marketing campaigns have used this strategy for years.
Expectations are now much higher, and our customers’ heads will be turned by businesses that make them feel good, not just about their purchase but about themselves too. Normalising a sustainable approach to buying a new product is the responsibility of everyone, and with us all rising to the challenge of making more ‘ethical’ purchasing decisions, environmental focus is not only a great way to attract more customers, it is also a prerequisite of all businesses who are looking to survive and thrive in these uncertain times.
The writing is on the wall folks, sustainability is going to play an even bigger part in our lives moving forward and the business who ignores this does so at its own peril.