Climate change has been a major talking point in the news over the last few months.
With bushfires ravaging the countryside and strong winds and drought conditions worsening the damage, climate change is becoming a bigger issue than ever before.
Pressure is now on for people all over the world to minimise their carbon footprint, and we’re becoming increasingly conscious about our energy usage, recycling practices, water usage, wastage and more – which means our shopping behaviour is changing, too.
Sustainability is becoming a crucial selling point for customers – so what can you do to meet customer expectations and reduce your carbon footprint as an ecommerce business owner?
In this blog, we take a deep-dive into the online bohemian market – Australian bohemian clothing brands who are paving the way for other ecommerce businesses to make a positive change and minimise their impact on the natural environment. There’s much to learn – so let’s get started.
#1. Give back – and share the good gospel on social media
The tide is turning.
In the current political climate, customers are becoming more aware of the brands they’re buying from, their ethical practices, their eco-friendliness, and charitable donations.
The stats don’t lie:
- Around 84% of customers say it’s important that companies support charitable cause;
- Almost two thirds of customers believe it’s a company’s responsibility to give back and to have a moral or ethical viewpoint;
- Around 53% of customers expect brands to improve the local community and 49% expect brands to donate proceeds to charity.
If there’s one thing bohemian brands do well, it’s giving back to the community – and calling on their customers to help achieve their goals.
Take Tree of Life, for example. The boho brand owns a small non-profit NGO called A Touch of Love which aims to raise funds and support people who need it, including the countries that nourish and sustain their business like India and Nepal. Tree of Life volunteers take a hands-on approach and often visit India and Nepal.
The marketing team from Tree of Life share their charitable activities through Instagram Posts but also through Saved Stories, which you can find underneath their Instagram Bio.
Image: Tree of Life Instagram
In one particular project, Tree of Life received a letter from a relief worker in Nepal named Renae. She was helping to care for three small children whose mother had died – Renae helped the community to build a new home for the children and employs local women to care for them.
The youngest of the children, six-year-old Suraj, has always had problems with his ears and desperately needed surgery to get them fixed. Tree of Life offered to raise the $5,000 required to get Suraj his surgery through the Bohemian Heart Campaign and their zero waste, recycled sari bags.
Images: Tree of Life Instagram
By running the Bohemian Heart Campaign, Tree of Life was able to a) launch some exciting new styles; b) help support Nepalese families; and c) reinforce their charitable nature with customers, driving more people to shop online and help fund Suraj’s ear operation.
Customers love seeing charitable causes and success stories on social media – so get donating, volunteering, and sharing the good gospel on social media!
#2. Switch to biodegradable or non-plastic packaging and minimise your carbon footprint
The Australia Institute’s 2019 Climate of the Nation report showed 81% of 18 to 34-year-olds surveyed and 67% of 55-years-and-older surveyed in Australia are worried about climate change.
As an ecommerce business owner dealing with hundreds of orders per week, it’s your responsibility to reduce your carbon footprint and minimise your impact on the planet – whether your customers are asking for it or not. One bulletproof way to do this is to switch from plastic packaging to a biodegradable, compostable, or non-plastic alternative.
One of the brands pioneering non-plastic packaging in the bohemian market is Spell & the Gypsy. Based in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Spell & the Gypsy have swapped traditional plastic parcel bags for 100% biodegradable poly bags which break down naturally and can be put in the compost.
Image: Spell & the Gypsy
To protect their fine bohemian garments, Spell & the Gypsy also tuck their orders into 100% organic cotton eco bags with a drawstring closure, or a cotton tote bag for larger orders. These bags are unbleached, organic and reusable.
Image: Spell & the Gypsy
Eco-friendliness is part of Spell & the Gypsy’s brand personality, so this is a major move on their behalf and it has paid off – Spell has saved 340,000 plastic garment bags from entering landfills and saved 42.47 tonnes of CO2 emissions by installing solar panels in their Byron Bay HQ.
Spell & the Gypsy are making leaps and bounds to reduce their impact on the natural environment – and so are we. At Transdirect, we have been aware of the environmental impact of the freight and logistics industries for years, so we’ve decided to go carbon neutral.
All the services we offer are now carbon neutral – share the good news and become a Transdirect member to support a carbon-neutral status. Your customers can rest assured knowing their purchases are shipping in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.
#3. Invest in the best materials and fabrics available – customers love it!
Over the last couple of decades, the production process for clothing has accelerated due to globalisation, industry competition, technology, and our obsession with instant gratification.
This has lead to a negative trend in textiles – nowadays, Australia is the second-largest consumer of new textiles worldwide with each person buying an average of 27kg of new textiles (13kg on average worldwide).
What’s worse? 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the clothing and footwear industries, and 50% of the emissions from clothing production comes from dyeing and finishing (36%), yarn preparation (28%) and fibre production (15%).
However, the newer generations are changing the game. Around 60 – 70% of consumers under the age of 35 will choose a brand based on their ethical practices and an important element of this is sustainable fabrics and materials.
Around 8,000 synthetic chemicals are used to turn raw materials into fabric. Bohemian brands like Arnhem have moved towards sustainable fibres and eliminated toxic chemicals from the production of their bohemian clothing – see the guide below for the percentage makeup of their clothing.
Over the last quarter, 98% of Arnhem’s fibres were sustainable and has allowed the brand to reduce their impact on global warming, water scarcity, and more. Customers are investing more and more in environmentally friendly clothing, footwear and products – so it’s worth investing in biodegradable fibres and fabrics for your business, too.
Take a page out of the books of Tree of Life, Arnhem and Spell – it’s time to reduce your carbon footprint
To quote Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changin’, and it’s more important than ever to be conscious of our impact on the environment.
As an ecommerce business owner, you can make a significant difference by implementing a few small changes, much like the top boho brands in Australia:
- Learnings from Tree of Life: 84% of customers want companies and brands to be charitable and give back to those who need it. Consider supporting a local charity, or run charitable campaigns and promotions to raise money for a charity close to your heart. You’ll be doing good and creating great content for your marketing campaigns.
- Learnings from Spell & the Gypsy: 81% of 18 to 34-year-olds are concerned about climate change. Minimise your impact on the natural environment with biodegradable or non-plastic so customers can compost or recycle their parcel packaging.
- Learnings from Arnhem: 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into fabric. Ditch toxic chemicals and invest in high quality, organic fibres for your clothing and footwear products.