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Sustainable Practices to Save Costs: Earth-Friendly Retailing


Sustainable Practices to Save Costs: Earth-Friendly Retailing

The shift towards eco-friendly retail practices is becoming increasingly pivotal for UK retailers to meet both consumer expectations and regulatory standards.

This Earth Day, which aims at advocating the dire need to reduce plastic pollution — certainly brings the unsustainable retail practices like that of fast fashion into question.

However, the climbing costs — particularly following increases in living wages and business rates have left retailers contemplating how to thrive while adopting more sustainable practices.

This blog outlines a few practical-cum-eco-friendly digital practices to help retail brands overcome economic constraints whilst achieving environmental goals.

Eco-conscious consumerism

Amidst the cost-of-living crisis, consumers began to show more sustainable shopping behaviour by purchasing fewer fashion items, shopping less frequently, and opting for more durable, high-quality pieces. And the pandemic had diminished the stigma associated with buying second-hand, enhancing demand in the resale fashion market.

Mintel’s consumer preference report found 52% of customers acknowledge that rising prices have heightened their awareness of sustainable fashion, with 71% of women aged 16-24 considering sustainability a key factor when purchasing fashion.

Moreover, consumers are trying to cut down the amount of single-use plastic they use. With plastic waste being a hot topic, they want to see messages from brands about how they’re minimising their reliance on plastic.

France brings fast fashion to heel

Not only consumers, but the responsible governments, like that of France, are part playing in the sustainable retail run.  Taking measures to curb the environmental impacts of fast and ultra-fast fashion, which is known for promoting disposability with many garments ending up in landfills. The French government has banned advertising from online giants like Shein and Temu, and introduced a scaling penalty system, with fines reaching up to 10 euros per item by 2030.

After the French government’s stance, UK retailers must pay heed to their retail practices whilst managing cost pressures. And they should err on the side of caution in what they tell consumers. Concluding the CMA’s greenwashing investigation last month, all fashion retailers were warned they must consider their obligations under consumer protection law when making environmental claims.

Eco-friendly Measures to Reduce Cost Pressures

Minimising product returns is inherent to sustainable retailing – fewer returns mean less plastic repackaging and reduced carbon footprint associated with reverse logistics. Too, it helps conserve resources as fewer products need to be manufactured to replace returned items, thereby reducing the consumption of raw materials and energy.

Here’s how you can pare down your return rates:

  • Detailed Product Descriptions: Provide clear and detailed product descriptionsto ensure customers understand the product fully before purchase.
  • High-Quality Visuals: Use high-resolution images to accurately represent products, reducing the likelihood of returns due to unmet expectations.
  • Interactive Customer Service: Offer real-time customer support to answer queries and provide additional information, enhancing customer confidence in their purchases.
  • Size Guides & Quality Control: Implement detailed size guides and stringent quality control to reduce returns due to sizing issues and defects.
  • Customer Feedback Analysis: Regularly analyse customer feedback to identify trends and areas for improvement in product offerings and service.

Streamline Costs and Enhance Sustainability with Taskaler

Seeking to balance cost management with sustainable practices? Consider a partnership with Taskaler. With twenty years of deep retail experience, we are here to work alongside you, helping you achieve more every day!

Find Out How – Talk to Our Specialists!