In this session, shipping company Sendle and leather goods retailer Nisolo reveal how they have built sustainable brands from sourcing to selling and still be profitable and how sustainability has become one of their greatest drivers of success.
Building a truly sustainable brand isn’t easy but it’s worth the hard work, said Omari Whyte, Director of Operations at leather goods retailer Nisolo. He said Nisolo was focussing on a dual-pronged approach within its operations. “We are looking at sustainability through both people and planet. How do we reduce our carbon footprint and make sure every one of our producers are receiving a living wage?” he said.
Whyte said the company was working on everyone within the supply chain meeting those two facets of people and planet. “It’s been a challenge because it’s a lot easier not to focus on those two things and there’s a lot of greenwashing in the industry right now where people see talk of sustainability but don’t actually live it,” he said.
James Moody, Founder and CEO of Sendle, explained how his company had been borne from a giving marketplace that he helped to found in 2013. “We quickly realized the biggest pain point was getting items from one person to the other, so we looked at getting affordable and sustainable ways to ship,” he said. Moody said that the realization that there was idle capacity in shipping networks led to a partnership with Australia Post which has since evolved into Sendle. “We were filling idle capacity so with every parcel we were carbon neural from day one,” he said.
The pair explained the importance of trust and clarity in what they do and the importance of authenticity, as well as how they were handling other business challenges such as packaging returns. At Nisolo Whyte said the company was using 100% recycled packaging and would introduce smaller packaging from spring. He said the company had partnered with a non-profit organisation to donate unsellable products that were returned to save them from landfill. “They are able to reuse those shoes in other places throughout the world or ground it up for track or playground purposes,” he said.
The pair also revealed how they had grown over the last 18 months or so as well as their plans for the future.
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