Sustainability front of mind in new online retail event

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By Published On: October 20, 20220 Comments

Australia’s first sustainable online retail event is getting set to launch in the week preceding the ever-popular Black Friday sales event, as more businesses pivot to embrace sustainability and ethical practices amid a consumer climate increasingly seeking brands willing to adhere to sustainable goals.

The appetite for sustainability in retail is particularly high for Gen Z shoppers, according to a new report from BNPL pioneers Afterpay, who found that as many as 60 percent of Gen Z shoppers look to shop with sustainability in mind compared to 55 percent of the rest of Australians.

And in positive news for retailers concerned about declaring their sustainability goals for fear of ‘cancel culture’ impacting their bottom line, Gen Z shoppers are also seen to be highly forgiving when it comes to sustainability in retail, with 63 percent of them affirming that they would be likely to return to shopping with a brand who had fixed issues after their initial sustainability goals failed to meet shoppers’ expectations.

“Gen Z is more sceptical about conventional business logics, expressing openness to concepts like the ‘wellbeing economy’ and other urgently needed alternatives to the growth economy,” says Associate Professor Timo Rassanen of the UTS School of Design, “Collaborative consumption in the form of clothing swaps and rentals is led by Gen Z, indicating diminished prioritisation of ownership.”

“The core values of a business must align with the values of Gen Z, the generation places more value on actions than words.”

Fortunately, evidence appears to suggest that more and more businesses do indeed share similar values to that of Gen Z, at least so far as sustainability practices are concerned. A survey conducted by zero-waste packaging retailer Hero Packaging found that almost 80 percent of business owners report being specifically motivated to address sustainability concerns because this aligns with their personal and professional values, and those of their business.

“The days of customers demanding businesses to be more environmentally responsible are fast coming to an end,” says Hero Packaging co-founder Anaita Sarkar, “These days businesses are not only self-motivated to do their part in saving the planet, they’re also innovating many of the sustainable solutions that will carry us forward.”

Green Friday, the sustainability focused sales event, looks set to tap into this increased desire for sustainable, ethical retail options on both sides of the retail experience with its inaugural launch beginning November 18. Inviting brands to take part, the founder of the Green Friday event is swift to express excitement at presenting such a sales event designed to put sustainable goals and product options front and centre.

“We can’t wait to showcase incredible Australian brands who are committed to being on their sustainability journey,” says Green Friday founder Peter Krideras, “We’ve already been lucky enough to welcome many great brands to the Green Friday event and we’re looking forward to welcoming more.”

Excitement for the event and its conscious sustainability focus has already seen it welcome some high profile sponsors, including digital media organisation The Latch, rental marketplace ReleaseIt and courier service providers Sendle.

“Big sales events and online shopping can have a serious impact on the environment, through increased carbon emissions and plastic packaging waste,” says Laura Hill, Managing Director for Australia at Sendle, “We’re united with Green Friday in our goal to help consumers shop more mindfully and sustainably, be conscious in the brands they purchase from and use Sendle’s carbon neutral delivery.”

Brands and retailers offering sustainable product options and services, and looking to participate in the debut Green Friday event, can submit their interest via the event’s website.

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Heather Bone