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Sustainability News in Retail

Sustainability News in Retail

Nov 30, 2022 at 9:07am

Completely Retail Marketplace looks at the latest Sustainability News from the world of retail.

Globally, consumers choose to buy from brands that commit to sustainability. Nowadays, going green is about more than just conserving energy or asking customers to recycle their shopping bags. Sustainability allows brands to better connect with their customers and do their bit for the planet.

Read the below Snapshot blog post to gain further insight into the latest sustainability news in retail.

Morrisons to reduce food waste by launching Magic Bags

Now available in over 397 Morrisons cafés across the UK, the ‘Magic Bags’ come packed full of warm or cold food for customers to enjoy. Each bag has contents of up to £11 but is sold to customers for only £2.99. Purchase Magic bags through the Free Too Good To Go app.

Morrisons has been offering UK customers food that is just passed its best-before date on the Too Good To Go app since 2019. They have become the first UK supermarket to make unsold fruit, veg, deli and bakery items available to purchase. 

Since starting their ‘stop food waste crusade’, Morrisons customers have purchased nearly 750,000 Magic Bags through the app. This has in turn prevented over 400 tonnes of food from going to waste.

Morrisons has stated that it is also now launching Too Good To Go in 17 of its Market Kitchens. This offers customers a breakfast or evening bag, both of which have hot and cold options in them. The Market Kitchen breakfast Magic Bags have a value of up to £10 and cost £2.50 whereas the evening bags have a value of up to £14 and cost £4.

Morrisons food service category director, Sian Whittle said in a recent interview: “By working with partners such as Too Good To Go, we aim to cut food waste by 50% by 2030.”

Sian went on to say; “Our customers have responded really well to the Magic Bags we currently sell and by expanding our offer to include both our cafés and Market Kitchen we can help cut food waste while also helping customers to save money.”

Lidl has announced that it is going to trial on-shelf smart refills to help customers save money

Becoming the first supermarket in the UK to offer customers access to an on-shelf smart refill machine, Lidl is trying where it can to save its customers money and reduce plastic.

Customers can find the compact machines located on the shelf in the store’s laundry detergent section. They will take up space equivalent to 66 standard Formil single-use bottles with the potential of filling over 245 individual pouches. This small adaptation increases capacity by almost 300%.

To use the machine, customers can select a pouch and then choose their favourite detergent through the machine’s automated touchscreen application.

The new “innovative closed-fill” technology incorporated into the pouch cap allows customers to fill up with the cap still on. Lidl has said that this enables faster filling while reducing the chance of mess and spills. Furthermore, the Formil pouches have been inserted with a special chip that allows the machine to differentiate between a new and reused refill pouch.

This enables the customer to get a saving of 20p after their first use. Lidl has said that the refill options offer its customers the cheapest wash around. It allows them to save 59 grams of plastic every time they refill.

Lidl CSR manager, Mark Newbold recently stated in an interview: “We are incredibly proud of this latest innovation, which will enable our customers to save money and reduce their plastic consumption,”

“We were the first UK supermarket to introduce smart laundry detergent refill stations and now we’re the first to introduce this next-generation design.”

Zara to launch their own resale and repair channel with their new pre-owned service

Zara has recently announced that it will be launching a new service. The service will help its UK customers resell, repair, or even donate clothing bought from them. The announcement comes as Zara’s first venture into the rapidly growing second-hand fashion arena.

Launched on the 3rd of November the new service enables shoppers to book repairs and donate any of their unwanted items online or via their closest store. Customers can also post their unwanted Zara purchases online for resale.

The online sales platform offers sellers the option to take pictures of their items and upload them onto the platform. The sales platform is run via Zara’s website and app, with payment handled by the Stripe system. Buyers’ details will be passed on when a sale has been agreed upon so that the goods can be sent by the seller. A very similar concept to the likes of Twig & Vinted.

The move to resale comes after the fashion retail giant started installing clothing donation bins in their European stores in 2016 to assist in circularity.

With the development of resale expanding as rapidly as it has, it made sense for the retailer to expand on that concept. Moreover, their new partnership with the Red Cross allows shoppers to request collections from their homes.

Zara has identified that their pre-owned service is not predicted to be profitable initially. In a recent interview Paula Ampuero, the head of sustainability at Zara, said: “At this stage, this platform is exclusively conceived as a tool to help customers extend the lifetime of their clothing and take a more circular approach.”

Sustainability news in Retail

Asda implements ‘SMARTDrop Kiosks’ to help its customers trade phones in for cash

ASDA aims to assist the British public get rid of their unwanted phones in exchange for cash. They are implementing “SMARTDrop Kiosks” in most of its supermarket stores nationwide. The kiosks offer a more convenient way to dispose of old phones. Moreover, offering the benefit of getting some extra money as well.

ASDA has partnered with MusicMagpie to help customers recycle phones more conveniently. There are now kiosks in 290 Asda stores across the UK. ASDA has stipulated that this means that 90% of the UK’s population will live within a 15-minute drive of a “SMARTDrop” point.

The retailer boasts that it has paid out over £7 million to customers using the kiosk systems. On average over 25,000 phones have been traded in at an average price of £273 over the past 12 months.

How does the kiosk work?

As easy as taking your phone to the kiosk and inputting the phone details into their software system for an evaluation. Depositing it into the deposit slot if you’re happy with the price and then getting the money paid into your bank account or PayPal account instantly.

Furthermore, MusicMagpie and Asda have formed a greater sustainability partnership. This is whereby ASDA customers can buy and sell refurbished tech and entertainment products with MusicMagpie through the ASDA website. If you’re wanting to sell items it’s as simple as dropping them off at your local ASDA. Your item then gets uploaded onto MusicMagpie through the ASDA ‘toyou’ service.

In a recent interview MusicMagpie co-founder and CEO, Steve Oliver said: “In the current climate, it’s critically important that we make it as easy as possible for people to free up cash – especially as we know that that the average household has 11 items of unused consumer technology lying around, totalling £16.5bn across the UK and depreciating by the day.”

Shein launches ‘Shein Exchange’, their new resale platform

The new platform aims to make it easier for sellers to list their preloved Shein items and sell them through the site. Shein’s recently debuted preloved site is an attempt to penetrate the resale market. Moreover, to assist in promoting the benefits of purchasing preloved clothing, over new items.

The new platform has been made in partnership with Treet and is currently only available to customers in USA. The plan is to expand into other global markets by 2023.

Shein global head of ESG, Adam Whinston said in a recent interview; “At Shein, we believe that it is our responsibility to build a future of fashion that is equitable for all, while also accelerating solutions to reduce textile waste.”

He continued: “The goal of Shein Exchange is to make resale just as easy and convenient as buying something brand new, while also igniting a cultural movement of circularity within our own Shein community. We are calling on our community to mobilize and keep previously owned clothing in circulation for as long as possible.”

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